The incident took place back in March of 2016 at a high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The lawsuit was filed last week and also claims that a school staffer had left Ms. Rosa Smith, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, in a bathroom and slapped her. Cerebral Palsy makes it difficult for those affected to move or communicate. The lawsuit further alleges that her teacher proceeded to duct-tape her mouth shut before deciding to text her mother a photo of it. At the time, there were also two aides in the high school classroom. It is alleged that the teacher texted the photo along with the message, “Help. She won’t be quiet!!!!” The message also had two emojis at the end of it. Apparently Smith was making noises which promoted the teacher’s inappropriate conduct.
The Washtenaw Intermediate School District denied that it was aware of issues until nearly a year after the incident occurred and the lawsuit was filed. The school district claims that the family failed to report this and any other complaint to district administrators. During that year Rosa Smith continued to attend that school with the same teacher. When the district was informed, an investigation commenced and the district took immediate remedial action.
This is not the first time that Smith’s mother has addressed problems with the school. Back in 2004, Rosa came home from school with burned skin on her leg. When Smith’s mother complained to the district, staffers claimed that the burns were caused by Rosa herself when she knocked hot coffee off of a shelf. The attorney for the family says that such incidents were not accident, but clear evidence that abuse was going on. The latest was just a continuation of the pattern of abuse.
The lawsuit also claims that the district has failed to provide the education to which she has a federal right. Rosa ultimately withdrew from the high school and receives care from her parents at home. Overall the circumstances of this incident are disturbing all around. Her teacher is no longer employed by the school district.
If you have a child who suffered from abuse either at school, on the bus, or during an after school activity such as a sports team, your family may be entitled to an award for damages. Call the law offices of Druckman & Hernandez to protect your rights and to find out what actions you should take now. Our number is 908-353-5850.