Lawsuit claims SDUSD mistreated disabled boy

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SAN DIEGO – A San Carlos family is suing the San Diego Unified School District for negligence in the care of their son with special needs.

Cindy Spiva-Evans and her husband filed a lawsuit in December alleging a number of charges against the district including negligence, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The couple’s 11-year-old son Cormac suffers from a condition called hemiplegia, paralysis of the arm, leg and trunk on the same side of the body. The family relied on the school bus to transport him to and from school and daycare.

“The right side of his body doesn’t work very well. He also has cerebral palsy and other learning delays,” she said.

Spiva-Evans recently pulled her son off the bus after she said there were “four pretty significant incidents in 3 years.”

In the first alleged incident, the driver left Cormac by himself in the parking lot of the daycare.

“I suppose he got impatient and didn’t want to wait for a nurse to come out and get Cormac.  He parked him, put his wheel locks on, left him,” Spiva-Evans said.

In other instance, Spiva-Evans said drivers did not properly strap in her son’s wheelchair during transport and when he arrived home he was screaming.

“The bus driver reported to the staff his wheelchair had actually fallen over,” said Spiva-Evans.

Cormac suffered a few bumps and bruises, but in September he arrived at the daycare with more bruises, a sprained knee and broken foot, according to the family.

Spiva-Evans is still trying to get answers from the school district as to what might have happened.

“They continue to deny that he was injured on the bus and that anything has ever gone wrong with him,” she said.

Fox 5 contacted SDUSD officials and we were told the district takes all concerns and complaints very seriously.  There are procedures in place to address issues in a timely and appropriate manner.  The district must follow state and federal regulations related to student, privacy and confidentiality.

She has since removed Cormac from the school bus permanently.  She now relies on Cormac’s baby sitter for transportation, in which the district has agreed to pay half.

The Evans family contacted Fox 5 following the Esteban’s family story of 4-year-old Zia who was left on a San Diego Unified school bus.

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