Woman Working With Preschoolers Was Stealing Their Money And Lunches

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child-boarding-school-busWe’ve all watched enough after-school specials to have nightmares about the school bully towering over our children and demanding their lunch money, but I’m willing to bet none of us would expect that bully to come in the form of a 33-year-old school bus aide. The Courier-Post reports Rosa Rios of Millville, New Jersey, has allegedly been stealing money and lunches from preschool students, some as young as three years old.

Rios, who works for the Sheppard Bus Service, came under suspicion after a bus driver reported some money stolen. Authorities reviewed security footage from the buses and saw Rios rummaging through children’s backpacks and removing items. Rios was charged with stealing money and food from the children, thefts authorities determined have been going on since January. Rios was fired immediately and the school board sent letters home to notify parents of the discovery.

“Through our proactive process that reviews our bus footage, members of my staff noticed suspicious behavior,” said Superintendent David Gentile of Millville Public Schools. “Once brought to my attention, I immediately involved the authorities and worked collaboratively to protect our students. She was removed immediately from all Millville bus routes indefinitely.”

While I’m glad authorities realized what was going on, I can’t help but feel bad for all those little kids who had their lunches and lunch money go missing. Some of them were so young they probably had no idea what was going on and just thought mom or dad forgot to pack their lunch again. Thinking about that makes me want to cry. I hope their school at least had some kind of system in place to ensure kids without lunches or money still got to eat each day.

I also have to wonder what would compel someone to steal from little kids, especially food items. Everything is speculation at this point and the investigation is ongoing, but the part of me that needs to know the world isn’t heinous thinks there had to be something serious going on for this woman to resort to rummaging through preschoolers‘ backpacks looking for things to take.

Frighteningly, this isn’t the first time a Sheppard Bus Service employee has been caught committing crimes against children. In July of 2014 a child pornography ring was apprehended by police and included two men who had previously worked as bus drivers for Sheppard. I’m no expert, but I feel like they might want to take a look into their hiring practices.

(Photo: Shutterstock)