NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A Bronx woman is filing suit against New York City after, police say, her autistic son was sexually assaulted in a school bathroom by another student.
The mother claims adults who were supposed to be watching the boys neglected their duties.
“Angry would be an understatement,” the mother, who will not be identified due to the nature of the case, said.
The woman’s anger is focused on the administration at special education P.S. 168X in the Bronx, where until recently her seven-year-old son, who’s autistic and cannot speak, was a student.
“At that time, his cognitive level was estimated to be that of a two-and-a-half-year-old,” the mother said. “You’re talking about a baby.”
According to the NYPD report, her son was sexually assaulted by an older special needs student. The incident happened in a bathroom and was witnessed by a third student, who reported it to the principal.
The victim’s mother said as soon as the 11-year-old witness reported the bathroom incident, the school should have contacted her so she could rush her child to the emergency room.
Instead, she said, the school sent her son back to class and waited hours before calling her.
“They failed to just get on the phone, give me a call, and provide any kind of medical attention to him,” she said.
Her lawsuit claims the boy who attacked her son was supposed to be supervised at all times by a one-on-one aide.
“That paraprofessional dropped the ball, he abdicated the role of supervision of the child,” the mother’s attorney, Richard Sules, said.
“Just where you don’t think anything can happen – you assume that adults in power will be following the rules,” the mother said.
Lawyers for the Department of Education released a brief statement, saying they “have just received the legal papers and are reviewing them thoroughly.”
The victim was given a so-called “safety transfer” to another city school.
The mother said the NYPD charged the alleged attacker, but the case was later dropped. CBS 2 reached out to the city for comment, but did not get an immediate response.