Parents Sue School District Over Sexual, Physical Abuse of 5-Year-Old on School Bus

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(Dmytro “Henry” Aleksandrov, Headline USA) A Washington State school district was sued by the parents of a 5-year-old kindergartner with special needs after it was discovered via video footage that the child was “sexually and physically abused” by a fifth-grade student on a school bus.

The child, who attended kindergarten in the North Mason School District, has developmental and speech delays and was provided door-to-door transportation by the district in a small bus for special education students, the complaint that was filed on Apr. 1, 2024, said, according to the Post Millennial.

The district modified its transportation plan on Sept. 13, 2023, so that younger children would begin riding the bus with older children. The kindergartner’s parents expressed their concerns regarding her “riding on the bus with older children given her age, speech delays and the number of children on the bus.”

On Sept. 22, 2023, when the mother greeted her daughter after she took the larger bus home, the child was crying, “distressed and acting out of character,” with the bus driver allegedly “brushing off” the child’s anxiety.

Instead of providing the video footage from the bus right away, the school informed the mother about her child being sexually and physically abused by a 5th-grade boy on the bus only on Sept. 26, 2023.

The complaint filed by lead attorney Amanda Searle with Connelly Law Offices in Tacoma, Wash., stated that “the footage showed the 5th-grade boy was told to sit next to [the girl] by the bus driver,” which resulted in the boy sexually and physically abusing the girl for “thirty-six minutes” while the girl was “crying and shaking her head no repeatedly.”

“The district was — in all circumstances — deliberately indifferent to the sexual abuse and physical abuse of [the child],” the complaint said.

The child’s parents accused the school district of negligently hiring, training and supervising employees, as well as failing to protect the girl from a student “with known behavioral issues.” In addition to that, the parents are seeking damages for negligence and discrimination.

“The district created a hostile environment for [the child] in ways including, but not limited to, placing her on a regular school bus given her age and disability, placing a 5th grader next to her with a history of behavioral issues, failing to supervise either the 5th grader or [the child] and allowing the abuse of [the child] by failing to intervene when she cried and yelled for help,” the complaint said.

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