If your child is injured while not in your care, you will do everything you can to protect them in the future. For special needs parents, this is even more true. When a mom of a special needs child recently found out her son was injured on his way to school, she was terrified. And now she's in a fight to make sure that what happened to her son never happens to anyone ever again.
Mom Elizabeth Aguero got a call that her seven year old son Michael was hurt. He had been on the school bus to Resica Elementary School in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania for about 45 minutes when she received the call. She needed to get to him immediately, and then she was asked if an ambulance should be called. "It’s hard to describe. It was horrible. It was hard to see my baby covered in blood,” Aguero tells People.
When she got to Michael, he was understandably upset and crying. When she tried to find out what happened, she was told by two nurses Michael “fell off the bus when he was going to school in the morning.” According to a Facebook post by the little boy's older brother, Michael has Downs Syndrome and is non-verbal. So there is no way to ask him what exactly happened.
In the picture you can see one of the boy's eyes is swollen shut and heavily bruised. His face is covered with scratches. Aguero took him to St. Luke’s Hospital’s Monroe Campus, and the doctors said he has two facial fractures and his swollen eye is also leaking. That would be a lot to deal with for any parent. But when your child is special needs and depends on people to keep them safe, it's terrifying.
It’s hard. They said they don’t know exactly what happened. The school wouldn’t allow me to see the [surveillance video],” Aguero says. The fact that the school wouldn't allow her to see video footage would lead you to believe that they were trying to hide something. If a child is so severely injured, the school should be more forthcoming with the information needed to rectify the situation.
Because the school wouldn't release the footage, Aguero was forced to go to the police. She filed a police report with the Pennsylvania State Police. The police were able to get the footage from the school and showed Aguero. She confirms that her son did fall, but the staff on the bus was “negligent” and the incident shouldn't have happened.
“I want better training. Michael is not the first, but I want him to be the last. No one should have immunity against child negligence," Aguero says.
She is now pushing for better training of school staff, especially those caring for special needs children. She has created the hashtag #justiceformichael to draw attention to his story.