Schmidt, Sethi & Akmajian Blog

Sexual Abuse on a TUSD School Bus

Posted by Dev Sethi | Feb 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

Click the photo to watch the KVOA story.

This is a tragic and stomach churning case.  We represent a 6 year old boy who was sexually abused by a 12 year old boy on board their Tucson Unified School District bus.  The boys were the only two passengers aboard an afternoon elementary school bus. In violation of TUSD policy, they were allowed to share a bench away from the driver.  

Compounding matters, after the driver recognized what was happening and stopped the abuse, he failed to make a report to law enforcement or the Department of Child Safety. Arizona law requires that school personnel make an immediate report of any suspected abuse or neglect. This is called a mandatory reporting obligation.  Unfortunately, this driver failed to make the necessary mandatory report.

This story has sparked much public interest.  KVOA, the NBC affiliate, aired a story on the incident.  You can watch it here.

Our statement to the reporter:

The family and friends of this young boy have rallied around him. They are protecting him and working to get him the assistance he needs to address the trauma he suffered on board his elementary school bus.

The images on the videotape are disturbing and heartbreaking. TUSD failed to report the incident as
required by Arizona law, and it refuses to release important information that is necessary to fully
protect this child's rights.

TUSD has not responded to the Notice of Claim, which was an opportunity for TUSD to accept
responsibility and take care of its student and a pre-requisite to a lawsuit. A lawsuit will be filed
shortly, and a jury — made up of members of this community — will be asked to judge TUSD's conduct.

About the Author

Dev Sethi

Dev Sethi litigates and tries a wide-range of complex injury and death cases throughout Arizona. He has Martindale Hubbell's highest rating, AV, and he is listed in "Best Lawyers." Dev is also recognized as an Arizona Super Lawyer in the area of plaintiff's products liability litigation.Dev has been at the forefront of auto product defect litigation. He played a key role in uncovering the Goodyear Load Range E tire scandal and worked to hold Ford Motor Company responsible for the danger posed by their now notorious 15-passenger vans. Dev is currently representing families in product liability suits against the nation's largest corporations including General Motors, Ford, Pentair Pools and Invacare.


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