Criminal Justice

New lawsuit claims Aldine ISD’s negligence led to sexual assault of 6-year-old student on school bus

The mother of a 6-year-old Aldine ISD student has filed a lawsuit against the district after her son was allegedly sexually assaulted for months by an older student on his school bus. The lawsuit was filed Thursday and alleges that Aldine ISD’s negligence allowed an 11-year-old student to sexually assault the mother’s 6-year-old son in […]

School Buses
Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
Row of school buses. Taken on Dec. 18, 2019.

The mother of a 6-year-old Aldine ISD student has filed a lawsuit against the district after her son was allegedly sexually assaulted for months by an older student on his school bus.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday and alleges that Aldine ISD’s negligence allowed an 11-year-old student to sexually assault the mother’s 6-year-old son in the back of a school bus on at least three separate occasions. The district is also accused of failing to adequately supervise students and implementing insufficient security protocols, which ultimately led to the 6-year-old’s assault, according to the lawsuit.

The incident was first brought to light in February after the 6-year-old came home without his backpack, which caused his mother, whose name will remain unpublished due to the nature of the case, to ask what happened. After she asked district officials to look into what happened, she was told that security cameras on the bus had captured the assaults.

“How is it possible that they failed my child? Has it possible that they failed to protect him?,” the mother said during a press conference on Thursday. “These are the constant questions that linger in my mind on a daily basis, adding to the torment that I feel as a mother that I’ve failed to be able to protect my child.”

Attorney S. Todd Yeary said they believe that Aldine ISD officials wouldn’t have monitored or surveyed video footage of the 6-year-old’s alleged assaults had it not been for the mother questioning her son about his missing backpack.

“But for an inquiry about a backpack, we still wouldn’t know that anything had ever happened to that child on the bus,” Yeary said. “A sign of just reckless disregard for the responsibility entrusted to the school district by law.”

Weeks after the news broke in February, the 11-year-old was charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault after findings from an investigation by Aldine ISD were presented to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

According to the district, a separate administrative investigation resulted in “more bus monitors, who assist with student safety and discipline, being added to additional bus routes.” Additionally, the district says their bus drivers and transportation staff were retrained on “current protocols and practices related to student incidents.”

“We committed and continue to provide essential services and support to the students involved to ensure they are able to successfully continue their education,” the district’s statement read.

During Thursday’s press conference, the 6-year-old’s mother said she’ll continue to speak out against the district until they “correct the wrong that has been done.”

“I trusted Aldine ISD with my son and they failed me. What happened to my child on that day is unforgivable,” the mother said. “It’s my duty to seek answers. It’s my duty to seek justice. It’s my duty, as a mother, to seek accountability.”