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CBS4 Exclusive: Mom says special needs child attacked in school bus

CBS4 Exclusive: Mom says special needs child attacked in school bus
CBS4 Exclusive: Mom says special needs child attacked in school bus 03:09

CUTLER BAY - Another violent school bus brawl caught on camera in Miami-Dade County.

"That should've not happened, my daughter should've been protected," said Johanna Velez.

Velez said her daughter, who is a student with special needs at Cutler Bay Middle School, was attacked by two girls while riding the bus home last Friday.

Velez said a student on the bus attacked her daughter before that girl's older sister, who doesn't go to the school, hopped in and also started pummeling her.

"The bus driver left the bus door open, so another person came in, which was the sister of the little girl who goes to school with my daughter," said Velez.

Adding insult to injury, it was the victim's 15th birthday. 

What was supposed to be a day of celebration and joy, turned into a day of stress and tears.

"She was a mess, she was a wreck, she was shaking, she was crying and she was screaming," said Velez.

The brawl left the victim with a concussion and her mother with questions.

"I reached out on Saturday night to the principal of Cutler Bay Middle School and expressed what happened, and what I needed. I have not gotten a reply from him. So, I have not gotten no answers from nobody," said Velez.

CBS4 asked the school district about what disciplinary action, if any, has taken place and what's being done about this incident.

While the district said they're aware of what happened and say the student involved has been disciplined according to the code of student conduct, they did not provide details.

Now, Velez is taking matters into her own hands and hired an attorney.

"Enough with the deliberate indifference to student safety. You're on notice, you've been on notice. We're a week or less or right around a week since the awful Coconut Palm incident, and here we are with another bus assault. When will it end?" said attorney Joseph Montgomery.

Montgomery said he plans to serve the school with legal papers within the next few weeks.

CBS4 asked the school district about the bus driver if they would face any consequences and were told they would not because they followed protocol.

The school district also told CBS4 that Miami-Dade Police are handling the investigation regarding the other person who jumped onto the bus and joined in the fight.

As for the victim, Velez said her daughter is traumatized and will likely not return to Cutler Bay Middle School.

Friday, parents in Homestead and Cutler Bay picked up their children from school wondering how public school leaders will respond after the fourth headline-grabbing instance of students hurt or abused in south Miami-Dade County.

"What is going on?," Aramis Jackson, whose teenage daughter attends Cutler Bay Middle School, said.

Video shared with CBS4 showed a girl with special needs pummeled by others on a school bus carrying students from Cutler Bay Middle School.

"My daughter should have been protected," Johanna Velez said.

This followed the release of cell phone video of a 15-year-old boy repeatedly punching a nine-year-old girl on a bus with children from Coconut Palm K-8 Academy. 

Last week, authorities arrested a West Homestead teacher accused of sex with an underage girl.  

Days later, a physical education coach at Campbell K-8 Center faced allegations he had sex with a 14-year-old.

All four investigations involve public school students in south Miami-Dade County.  

District statements after each case said the accused teachers were either fired or face termination.  

Meanwhile, students involved in violence against classmates face their own discipline.  

Earlier in the week, board member Luisa Santos, who represents the community around the schools involved told CBS4 the district "will not tolerate" violence toward students.

"It's being taken care of, I hope," Peta Johnson, who has two children enrolled at Campbell K-8 Center.  

"I mean, are we really going to get what we want to see? No. We just have to really be on top of our kids."

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