Lawsuit Alleges CUSD Instructional Assistant Hurt Special Needs Student

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A lawsuit was filed against the Compton Unified School District on behalf of a 15-year-old special-needs student who allegedly suffered a broken finger at the hands of an instructional assistant.

The plaintiff is identified only as B.M. in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, which also names the aide, David Dominguez, as a defendant. The lawsuit was filed Thursday on the boy's behalf by his mother. Compensatory damages are sought against both defendants and punitive damages from Dominguez.

“The administration of Compton Unified School District participated in covering up the physical and emotional abuse of (B.M.)'', according to the suit, which further alleges the CUSD “deliberately planned to withhold information about Mr. Dominguez's and other staff's physical and emotional abuse from law enforcement, plaintiff's parents and other government authorities tasked with ensuring the safety of students.''

A CUSD representative could not be immediately reached.

B.M. suffers from emotional and speech impairments and attended Ralph J. Bunche Elementary School during the 2019-20 school year, the suit states. On Feb. 7, 2020, Dominguez grabbed him by the hand and broke his finger, in part because of the teen's disability and medical condition, the suit alleges.

Other CUSD employees, including the school's teacher and the school principal, knew that Dominguez injured the plaintiff and that he was in substantial pain, but the principal initially said he knew nothing about how the boy was hurt, the suit states.

The next week, however, the principal admitted to the student's mother that Dominguez broke B.M.'s finger, but tried to justify the aide's behavior, the suit alleges. The principal also refused to allow B.M.'s mother to speak with her son's teacher, saying the teacher did not witness what happened between Dominguez and the boy before his finger was broken, the suit states.

From this point on, the school staff, Dominguez, the teacher and the principal “emotionally abused (B.M.) by insulting him, neglecting him and threatening to strike him'' while also using indifferent techniques on the basis of his disabilities, the suit states.

Although many faculty and staff members saw Dominguez physically and emotionally abuse B.M, no one did anything to protect him, the suit states.

B.M. suffered “tremendous trauma,'' severe pain and emotional distress as a result the incident and the alleged actions in response by the district and its employees, the suit states.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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