February 25, 2015
Rosa Rios: New Jersey School Bus Aide Stole Lunch Money, Bagged Lunches From Preschoolers

Usually it's a schoolyard bully who steals kids' lunch money, but in the case of Millville, New Jersey bus aide Rosa Rios, it was an adult who's supposed to protect the kids who stole their lunch money.

The Newark Star-Ledger reports that Rios, 33, had been employed by Sheppard Bus Service as a bus aide, monitoring kids between the ages of 3 and 5 on their way to preschool. When the bus driver complained that some of her (the driver's) money was missing, the Bus Service asked police to review surveillance footage from the bus' on-board security camera.

Police officer Michelle Reeves reviewed the footage, and this is what she saw: Ms. Rios allegedly rummaging through the children's backpacks, stealing their lunch money, and, in some cases, even their lunches. The theft had been going on at least since January, and continued until she was let go in February.

Detective Lt. Jody Farabella told The South Jersey Courier-Post that Sheppard (the bus company) did right by firing the bully bus aide.

"It looks like she was trying to take advantage of [the children]. Sheppard did the best thing by firing her. It's also good for the district to let parents know things are OK."
It is unclear, as of this post, how much lunch money Ms. Rios is alleged to have stolen from the preschoolers.

Superintendent David Gentile of Millville Public Schools sent the kids home with a letter to their parents explaining what happened.

"Through our proactive process that reviews our bus footage, members of my staff noticed suspicious behavior. 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."
Unfortunately, stories of schoolchildren being victimized by those who were entrusted with their care are far too common. For example, just last week, according to this Inquisitr report, high school math teacher Megan Connors was arrested for repeatedly having sex with a 15-year-old boy, in an empty classroom while school was in session.

Ms. Rios was arrested and is currently jailed on $50,000 bond. It is not clear, as of this post, if she's known to have anything to do with the original complaint that got her caught- the bus driver's missing money.

What punishment do you think this bus aide deserves for stealing lunch money, and lunches, from preschool children? Share your opinions in the Comments below.

[Images courtesy of: Getty Images/Mario Tama]