‘Screaming Bucket’ Used to Contain Autistic Student on School Bus, Parents File Lawsuit

A school district in Peoria, Ill., is being sued for putting a “screaming bucket” on a student with autism.

The incident occurred while a 7-year-old student was being transported on a school bus. The boy would not stop screaming, so the driver, Alan Curry, and bus aide, Kathy Webster, put a 5-gallon bucket over his head, back, torso and arms.

According to the lawsuit, the aide forcibly held the boy down causing bruises, and the driver failed to stop her. Curry and Webster were fired on June 17.

This was not an isolated incident, according to the boy’s mother, Barbara Keske of Toulon, Ill.

“I am in disbelief that an adult, especially someone that works for the school, would think that it’s okay to put her hands on my child, yet along with a bucket on my son’s head,” Keske told WQAD.

She said she only found out about what the other students commonly refer to as the “screaming bucket” when her son was suspended for trying to resist being abused.

The Keske family subsequently filed a 12-count suit against Stark County Community Unit School District #100, alleging “willful and wanton conduct” by the driver and aide. The lawsuit is seeking $750,000 in damages.

According to court documents, claims under the Civil Rights Act of 1871 and the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution have been filed. In addition, they allege violations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.