In just one morning drive to Bluffton Elementary School, bus monitor Lillian Jackson stands or reaches across the aisle to touch a special-needs preschooler 46 times.
From the first punch to the last grab, Jackson lays a hand on the tiny boy in the puffy, winter jacket nearly twice a minute.
That’s what’s shown in a newly released video from the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which is prosecuting the former bus monitor on seven counts of unlawful neglect of a child in connection with allegedly abusing the 4-year-old victim numerous times between September 2014 and February 2015.
The child is non-verbal and was 3 years old when the alleged abuse was first reported, according to police and court records.
The case also spawned a lawsuit against Jackson, her former employer Durham School Services, and the Beaufort County School District. Attorneys for the child’s mother claim the district and its former bus contractor, Durham, were negligent in responding to the first allegations of abuse in September 2014, allowing it to continue for another five months before Jackson’s arrest.
Superintendent Jeff Moss also said last month that he would look into whether the district met its reporting requirements to tell law enforcement about possible child abuse at the time. Attorneys for the child’s mother argue the district failed to make a report.
Previously, Bluffton Police had released only a 15-minute video from Feb. 12, 2015, the day the victim’s mother found bruises on her son’s left arm and left thigh. She reported the injuries to the school, which reported the injuries to police, leading to Jackson’s arrest at her Seabrook home.
That video shows Jackson striking the victim once with her hand and about three times with the boy’s hand around 7:35 a.m. as the bus picked up other students.
Following a request by The Island Packet, the Solicitor’s Office released surveillance footage from two additional days in 2015, Jan. 27 and 28.
On Jan. 27, Jackson can be seen punching, grabbing and pushing the child 46 times over a 25-minute period during the morning bus ride. On Jan. 28, Jackson can be seen placing her hands on the child 19 times in 15 minutes.
Most of the time, Jackson appears to be grabbing the boy’s hand to make him cover his mouth as he coughs.
In other instances, she appears to shove him in the head, grab his thigh, pull his arm or pinch him through his jacket.
On Jan. 27, she touches him five times in one minute, and later glances at her nails between swipes at him. Toward the end of that bus ride, the boy flinches as Jackson moves.
On Jan. 28, she grabs the boy twice while she is talking on her cell phone.
Jackson was arrested 15 days later.
Both criminal and civil cases are ongoing in Beaufort County Circuit Court.