US Woman Sues School District After Her Special Needs Son Broke Legs At School

Mrs Estrada said that no one at school told her what happened.

An Adams County mother has filed a lawsuit against Adams 12 Five Star Schools alleging that her 12-year-old son, who has special needs, sustained leg injuries while unsupervised.

“I don’t know if Esdras will be able to walk, will be able to get back to where he was,” Patricia Portillo Estrada told CBS News. 

“He’s a very happy kid (and) optimistic. He always had a good attitude,” said Patricia Portillo Estrada. “It’s until this accident happened that he changed a lot.”

Esdras Cruz was born with various neurological and physical challenges, such as lumbar myelomeningocele, hydrocephalus, bilateral clubfeet, scoliosis, and spina bifida, which he continues to live with. Nevertheless, Esdras displayed remarkable resilience and determination to surpass all obstacles, the media outlet reported. 

“The doctors have said that Esdras was going to be able to walk,” said Portillo Estrada in Spanish. “He was advancing, we were close to the goal that he would be able to walk.”

Less than four years ago, Portillo Estrada posted a video showing her son making significant progress in walking with the assistance of a walker.

“He’s not the same kid he was before. He is depressive. He’s always sad. He wants to be in bed by himself, scared. He doesn’t want to progress in therapy,” said Portillo Estrada.

Portillo Estrada asserts that all of these developments occurred following the incident where her son was left unattended at Rocky Mountain Elementary School on the morning of May 10, 2022.

“When I got him off the bus, coming down the ramp, I saw that his knees were really swollen, and he looked sad,” she said. “When he saw me, he started to cry, and I asked him what happened.  He told me he fell at school.”

Mrs Estrada said that no one at school told her what happened. She sent Esdras back to classes on May 12. That day, she had to rush her son in pain to the hospital. There, she discovered both of his legs were broken.

“I took him to the emergency room. When they did X-rays, Esdras showed up with big fractures in both of his legs,” said Portillo Estrada. “They asked me what happened, and I said I didn’t know.”

Mrs Estrada told the media outlet that her son spent two months recovering in casts, all while she continued to ask the school district questions about what happened.

“The school told me that Esdras was lying, that he didn’t fall at school,” she said.

“They were not getting straight answers from the school,” said Igor Raykin, the family’s attorney. “In fact, the school first had no idea how he was injured, and even denied for a while that he was injured at all. In fact, it took them 22 days to even take a look at the incident on video to determine exactly what happened.”

Portillo Estrada kept pressing until she finally was able to see videos from the day of his accident, the media outlet reported. 

“He was completely by himself, and he went down a ramp and he crashed into a wall. All I did was cry, and cry,” she said.

“One of the requirements of his special education plan was that he had to be constantly monitored in order to assist him with his movements. He was not supposed to be left alone and left to his own devices,” said Raykin.

Portillo Estrada and her family hope the district can take accountability for her son’s injuries.

“That they’re held responsible for Esdras’s accident and (we get) justice,” said Portillo Estrada.

“She wants to make sure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen to anyone else,” said Raykin. “This lack of supervision is not something that really should’ve happened with any child, but particularly on that is as impaired as this particular child.”


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