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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Courthouse News Service
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Mom Sues Schools After Taped Attack

HOUSTON (CN) - After a public school student attacked a disabled 5-year-old girl so viciously it dislodged her brain shunt, a bus aide lied that she had fallen out of her wheelchair, her mother claims in court.

Janice Turner sued the Houston Independent School District in Harris County Court, on behalf of her daughter, E.K.

Turner claims that after being given a runaround, she was informed that the attack on her daughter had been recorded on videotape.

"E.K. is a 5-year-old special needs child with cerebral palsy. E.K. is routinely transported by HISD school bus," the complaint states.

"While being transported, it is necessary for an HISD aide to supervise E.K.'s transportation.

"On or about Tuesday, September 11, 2012, E.K. was being transported home by HISD school and was assaulted by another student.

"When E.K. exited the bus, she had scratches and bruises around her left eye, and no shoes or socks on her feet and was sliding out of her wheelchair."

Turner says the next morning she sent a note to E.K.'s teacher about her injuries.

"E.K.'s teacher then called Mrs. Turner and informed her that when E.K. was loaded on the bus Tuesday afternoon, she did not have any marks," the complaint states.

"On Wednesday afternoon, Mrs. Turner received a call from the bus aide, known only as Max, stating that E.K. was very fussy, crying and unhappy and that she had unstrapped herself from her wheelchair and fallen out twice and, for that, they would be dropping her off first.

"Upon the arrival of the bus at E.K.'s destination, E.K. was almost in a fetal position in her wheelchair, a position she would normally not be in.

"Leanna Turner, E.K.'s aunt, and the one to meet E.K. at the bus stop, asked the bus aide what happened, and why E.K. was slouched down in her chair.

"The aide's response was that E.K. was very fussy and having a tantrum and that she unstrapped herself from the wheelchair and fell out twice.

"After exiting the bus, E.K. was examined, and noted on her body were distinct bruises on her right cheek, and her left arm, as well as swelling on her left eye.

"Also noted were that her ring that she had been wearing every day since May was missing, she had on only one shoe, and there were blood splatters on the tops of her socks.

"Mrs. Turner was later notified by the school principal that E.K. had been attacked by another student on the bus and that the attack had been captured on surveillance video."

Turner says her daughter suffered head, arm and leg wounds, and "had to undergo surgery to fix a shunt in her brain that malfunctioned following her assault."

E.K. and her mother want the district to pay for medical bills and "loss of mental function," and damages for negligence, negligent hiring and negligent misrepresentation.

They also seek damages under the Texas "Injury by a Motor Vehicle" law, claiming E.K's injury was "caused by the operation of a motor-driven vehicle."

They are represented by Brennen Dunn with Citizen Legal in Houston.

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