Huntley bus aide charged with striking student on school bus, indicted on felony battery charge

Joyce McFadden worked for District 158 but has resigned, officials say

school bus

A former bus aide in Huntley School District 158 has been charged with felony aggravated battery, with authorities alleging that she “struck” a 7-year-old child on a school bus, McHenry County court records show.

Joyce C. McFadden, 75, of the 12800 block of Tahoe Drive in Huntley, was indicted Thursday on four counts of aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony, according to court records.

The indictment’s different counts allege that McFadden “knowingly ... tapped and/or slapped” the child’s head, “pushed [the child’s] head down” and “struck” the child on a public school bus.

A police complaint alleges that “the defendant struck the victim in the head with both an open hand and with paperwork she held within her hand.”

The complaint was signed by Algonquin officer Andrew Dykstra, who is listed on the District 158 website as the school resource officer for Heineman Middle School and Mackeben and Conley elementary schools, all in Algonquin.

McFadden was initially charged Aug. 17, which was the first week of classes in District 158 for the new school year.

District 158 officials confirmed that McFadden was employed as a bus aide in the school district and resigned Aug. 22. They did not say which school the bus in question was serving.

According to district documents, McFadden earned $16.08 an hour.

The Northwest Herald left messages at a number listed for McFadden and for the law firm Donahue and Walsh, which is listed in court records as the law firm representing McFadden.

The child’s mother, reached by the Northwest Herald, said her child was on a special needs bus when the alleged incident occurred.

She said that when her child was dropped off at home that afternoon, both the bus driver and the aide yelled about her child’s behavior on the bus and that the aide at first was blocking her child from leaving the bus. The mother said she emailed the district later that day, and she said both the aide and the driver were replaced on her child’s route the next day.

“I do not blame the school district for what happened,” the mother said, adding, “I couldn’t have asked for the situation to be handled better.”

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