Disabled Teen Attacked On School Bus

6:07 PM, Feb 1, 2011   |    comments
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Ricardo Willis, Jr., was allegedly assaulted on a special needs school bus while the attendant stood by.

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Here's a story a fearful father brought to our attention on our Facebook page.

Ricardo Willis says his mentally challenged teen was assaulted on a DC special needs school bus -- and the attendant allegedly did nothing to stop the attack.

Willis says he's still too worried to send his son back to school.

Kelly Brinkley, Chief Operating Officer in DC's Office of the State Education Superintendent, says they are taking the situation very seriously and have taken steps to ensure Ricardo Willis, Jr., is safe.
"They used their fist," says the 16-year-old. He says it hurt.

He has largely recovered physically from the attack last week.
But his father is furious: "I'm very concerned about the safety of my son."

Willis says his son spent long hours in the emergency room with a nasty black eye and scratches on his eye and face. Willis says, "He told me he had been hit twice in the eye by another student on the bus."

Willis is convinced the attendant on the bus stood by while his son was attacked and did nothing to stop it.

"He was assaulted. She let it happen. And did nothing to prevent it? And didn't even come notify me that it had happened," he says.

Willis says he complained to one supervisor after another. He says he was brushed off. Only now is one of the school's top officials promising that his mentally challenged son will be safe next time he gets on the bus.

"He cannot protect himself," says Willis. "He is very vulnerable."

"Do you want to go back to school?" I asked the teen. 

"Yes!" he replied. 

"You like school?" I asked. 

"Yes," he answered. 

"When an employee of the District of Columbia allows my son to be victimized and doesn't do anything about it, that goes against the fabric of what we have in the District of Columbia," says his father.

Willis suspects the attendant stood by while his son was attacked by another child, because he had complained about her behavior a few months earlier.

Written by Bruce Leshan
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com 

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