Harris County

‘I’m angry as hell’: Aldine ISD mother says her 6 year old was sexually assaulted on school bus for months before being notified

According to the mother, her son, who is in the first grade, rides the bus with older children, which she has complained to the district about.

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

The mother of a 6-year-old Aldine ISD student said her son was sexually assaulted for months by an older student on his school bus before she was notified.

The mother held a press conference with Dr. Candice Matthews with the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats, and Community activist Quannell X on Monday. Matthews said there was video footage of the incident, but the bus driver did not respond because they thought a fight was taking place.

“Whenever you have an incident that happens on that campus, according to the Texas Education Agency’s law you are supposed to notify the parents of what has happened.” Matthews said.

According to the mother, her son, who is in the first grade, rides the bus with older children, which she has complained about.

“I’ve come here before inquiring why my son was on the bus with older children,” she said. “I’ve sat here for two hours one day waiting to speak to someone about this particular bus route, the lack of having a regular bus driver, the fact that the route always changes, that he was there five and six years old for two hours at a time.”

The mother, whose name will remain unpublished since a case of sexual assault is involved, said last Tuesday her son came home without his backpack, which caused her to ask what happened.

“He came home without the backpack Tuesday evening,” she said. She said she called the school’s transportation department the next morning and asked if they could radio in the driver to see if his items were on the bus. “The day that I requested it, I was told in a nonchalant manner, another student tossed it out the window. So I asked to speak with a supervisor, I spoke with a supervisor … I asked them if they could review it, identify the student, get with the principals so we could have a parent-teacher conversation with the other family to rectify the situation between my child and the other child.”

The mother said she received a call five hours later to pick up her son, and that an Aldine ISD police officer wanted to speak to her.

“I thought that perhaps my son did something wrong. I get to the school and I find out that my son was sexually assaulted,” she said. “Days of talking to my child, the details became more and more graphic each and every time. From what I thought was just an oral incident was really a physical incident. No one is being held accountable, I’m angry as hell.”

The mother said she has asked what happened to the bus driver and the other student but has not been given any detail. However, she said she wants the driver arrested. The videos also showed that the assaults went back as far as three months.

“If my child was being molested in my presence at my home, they would lock me up for endangerment to a child, I’d be sitting behind bars right now,” she said. “The bus driver neglected, she did not do her job.”

Quannell X said the bus driver assumed there was a fight on the bus, “but it was a child fighting and screaming.”

“The child did go to the hospital,” he said. “There is evidence of a physical, absolute rape. And still the school has done nothing to offer counseling to this mother, this child.”

In a statement, Aldine ISD said:

“The safety of our students continues to be the top priority for Aldine ISD and we are committed to providing a safe environment in the classroom as well as when being transported to and from school. Campus leaders consistently work to monitor student behavior and communicate with parents to resolve concerns when incidents occur. An investigation by Aldine ISD PD and district officials immediately began on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 23 after district administration became aware that an incident occurred on a district bus involving two of our elementary-age students. CPS was notified. Once the investigation has concluded, appropriate action will be taken based on investigation findings. Because this is an active investigation, and due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), we are unable to provide additional details to protect the privacy of student information.”

KHOU reports that Child Protective Services confirmed that they are investigating the incident.