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Education

Lawsuit Charges Shawnee Mission South Student Sexually Assaulted On School Bus

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The father of a 19-year-old Shawnee Mission South student says his daughter was sexually assaulted last April on a school bus as she was returning home from school.

The allegations are detailed in a lawsuit filed this week against First Student Inc., which last year lost its transportation contract with the Shawnee Mission School District.

The lawsuit alleges that a boy sitting near the teen, who has autism, "continuously molested for her 20 minutes during the bus ride and in the presence of the bus driver." The suit also alleges there was no monitor on the bus to supervise the students.

Last year, the Shawnee Mission Board of Education did not renew its contract with First Student and chose DS Bus Bus Lines in Edwardsville instead.

"We can confirm that the Shawnee Mission School District terminated its relationship with First Student due to performance issues," the district said in a statement.

The board chose DS Bus Lines even though its bid was $573,000 higher than First Student's, according to the Shawnee Mission Post.

Most of the complaints were about buses being late for drop-offs.

First Student, whose parent company is based in Cincinnati, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sam Zeff  is KCUR's Metro Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @samzeff.

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