Anne Arundel County Board of Training hit by lawsuit after scholar suffocates to dying

Arundel County’s Education Department was recently hit by an unlawful death lawsuit after a student suffocated from a glove in class and died.

The parents of a 17-year-old Central Special student are suing the Anne Arundel County Board of Education after student Bowen Levy suffocated from a glove in class and died. In addition to the school board, the chairman of the board and the headmaster of the Central Special School are also named as defendants. According to the lawsuit, the “negligence of the board of directors led to the death of their son”.

Gavel and two hardback books on wooden table; Image by Succo via Pixabay.com.

When filing the lawsuit, the child’s parents, Bryan and Tanya Levy, are seeking more than $ 75,000 in damages and a lawsuit. Commenting on the lawsuit, Mr. Levy said that the “systemic” problem of the “school system” providing adequate support, staff oversight and training, as well as the lack of response to multiple requests for information about an internal investigation into her son’s death are driving the levy Sue Natalie Marston, the county school board, and its president Melissa Ellis for negligence, breach of contract, survival and death. ” He added:

“I can’t bring my son back … What interests me most is making sure this doesn’t happen to any other child.”

Levy went on to state that he “believes the negligence and lack of support for children with special needs that have emerged at Central Special School is a national problem that extends beyond Bowen’s school.” To date, he has received numerous emails and phone calls from people asking him to continue fighting “to keep children with disabilities safe in school”.

Shortly after Bowen’s death, George Arlotto, the superintendent of Anne Arundel County Public Schools, requested “11 additional permanent substitutes at the county’s three special development schools, including Ruth Parker Eason, Marley Glen and Central Special.” Staff shortage. In February 2020, the school board approved “a $ 1.6 million budget increase for nine additional special education teachers, 12 special education assistant teachers and 11 permanent substitutes.” Bob Mosier, a school district spokesman, said, “We, and especially the Central Special School staff, continue to mourn Bowen.”

What happened? How did such an incident come about? According to the Maryland Department of Social Services, Bowen’s death “was likely related to child neglect.” The agency added that “he died as a result of the system failure at the Central Special School”. The lawsuit states: “Bowen’s classroom would have a teacher, two teaching assistants, and an assigned individual so Bowen can intervene quickly if he puts something in his mouth.” On the day of the incident, “his personal advisor was absent, the teacher was gone in the afternoon and there was a replacement.” According to a report from DSS, “they are asked to review” sub-plans “if a replacement is being used, but a staff member said she did not review the plan that day. “

Commenting on the lawsuit, lawyers for the Levy family said:

“The school system knew that in addition to autism, Bowen also had pica, an obsessive compulsive condition that resulted in him swallowing and eating non-food items. Bowens Pica was known to the Anne Arundel County’s school system, which promised to supervise him 1: 1, a promise his parents relied on. Anne Arundel County’s public schools have broken that promise. “

Because of his disability, Bowen had an individual education program, or IEP. IEPs are documents that describe “services or resources in school for children with disabilities”. As part of his IEP at Central Special, Bowen should have personal adult supervision at all times to “address safety concerns arising from his pica diagnosis.” Because he didn’t have that on the day of the incident, his parents argue that the school board breached their contract “because they didn’t supervise Bowen and protect him from harm”.

The DSS report and the lawsuit that Central Special was severely understaffed in 2019 resulted in a lack of supervision in the classroom. As a result, Bowen was able to “pick up a rubber glove and swallow it.” He kept chewing on gloves until he choked on the third. According to the lawsuit, “he lost oxygen for 10 minutes, passed out, and died in hospital five days later.”

Sources:

The Central Special student’s family, who died after suffocating in class, is suing Anne Arundel County public schools

Bowen Levy’s family files lawsuit against the Board of Education, the director of Central Special

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