(School) Grounds for a Lawsuit

No child left behind

The parents of a 7-year-old student in Texas are taking legal action against the Teravista Elementary School District for violating their daughter’s constitutional rights of “life, liberty, privacy, bodily integrity and happiness.” On more than one occasion, the safety of the child was placed at risk when she was wrongfully placed on a school bus instead of being taken to an after-school program.  The parents of the child, naturally concerned that something like this could happen more than once, filed a lawsuit after not resolving anything in administrative meetings with the school.  It is not publicly known how much the family is suing for, but the family hopes a court of law will accurately award them fair compensation.

The lawsuit mentions four separate instances when the child was lost by the school and then left to fend for herself.  On one particular incident on December 14, 2018, the child was placed on the bus and the bus driver, who was not the regular driver for that route, dropped the child off at a stop.  Left without supervision, the child walked the rest of the way home alone.  On that day, both of the parents were out of town, but one planned to be back by 5 pm to pick their daughter up from the after-school program.  After learning that she was not at school, the parent found the helpless student alone, cold, crying, and screaming.  According to the parents, this December 2018 mistake was the fourth time their daughter was wrongfully taken on the bus when she should have remained at school. It was this last time that convinced the parents to take their daughter out of Teravista Elementary and enroll her in private school.

Before being pulled from Teravista Elementary, the 7-year-old would make herself sick to avoid attending school.  The literal fear that she would be left alone, as well as the post-traumatic stress she suffered, led the parents to at first try to resolve the issues themselves with the school.  That approach proved useless when school officials nonchalantly explained that those types of situations were common.  The school attempted to assure the parents that they have a plan in place to just take the student back to the school if a parent was not visibly present at the bus stop.  The parents argue that leaving a minor child alone only one time was enough reason to take action.