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Detroit mother says son with special needs badly injured by another student in school bus attack

Nonverbal child with cerebral palsy has facial injuries

DETROIT – A mother is demanding answers from the Detroit Public Schools Community District after her special needs son was allegedly injured by another student during a field trip.

Darnell Smith, 9, has deep cuts and bruises all over his face.

"We send him to school normal and they are supposed to protect him," his mother, Tatijana Smith-Stubbs, said. "The scar above his eye was bleeding. It went down to his nose."

Smith-Stubbs said Darnell was attacked Thursday morning on a school bus as the class was going on a field trip.

"She tells me, 'Oh, it was loud,'" Smith-Stubbs said. "I don't care how loud. Why would you put an aggressive kid next to a kid who doesn't do anything?"

Darnell is nonverbal and has cerebral palsy. He attends a school for children with special needs. His mother said she wasn't notified about the injuries until the end of the school day.

"This is unacceptable," Smith-Stubbs said. "Whatever I need to do -- somebody needs to do something about this today."

Citing privacy laws, school administrators told Smith-Stubbs they could not reveal which student injured her son. They said the child had been moved to a different class, but that's not enough for Smith-Stubbs.

"I'm his voice," she said. "He cannot talk. He's nonverbal, and all the questions I had yesterday, no one can answer."

Smith-Stubbs said she took Darnell to Sinai-Grace Hospital. She said he's feeling a bit better on pain medication, but she wants to hold the adults on the bus accountable.

"Altogether there were 36 people on the bus and no one saw anything word for word," Smith-Stubbs said.


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