A local family is going to trial over a lawsuit they filed against the San Diego Unified School District, claiming their special needs child was forced to urinate on a school bus and accusing the bus driver of touching him inappropriately.
Court documents state that in January 2012, a special needs student on his way home from Riley Elementary School was forced to expose himself and urinate on the bus.
The claim says the bus driver took photos and video of the child’s exposed penis with his phone and then touched the boy, who was 8 years old at the time, in a sexual manner.
The school district, in an answer to the January 2013 complaint, denied all charges made by the family. No arrests have been made. A spokeswoman for the school district said on Friday she could not comment on ongoing litigation.
NBC 7 Investigates is not naming the bus driver, who is listed as a defendant in the lawsuit along with the school district, because the allegations have not been substantiated by a court, and no criminal charges have been filed.
A family member of the boy reported the incident to the San Diego Police Department a week after it happened, according to a district spokeswoman. The SDPD declined to release the report to NBC 7 Investigates.
Some of its school buses had cameras on them in 2012, according to the SDUSD, but not on the one on which this alleged incident occurred. All new buses are equipped with cameras, and the district is installing cameras on old buses as the budget permits.
The accused bus driver is still working at the district as a bus driver, transporting children to and from school. Recent payroll data indicates he makes about $54,000 a year in total pay and benefits.
This case was set to go to trial next week, but the school district tells NBC 7 Investigates both parties asked for it to be moved to May 15.
Parent and former SDUSD teacher Judy Neufeld-Fernandez has been pushing the school district for better protections for children.
“Every single bus must have a camera on it,” she said. “Employees are protected that way, and students are protected that way.”