ERWIN, Tenn. — A special-needs student here was recently injured by another student on a school bus, the Johnson City Press reports.

Unicoi County Schools said in a statement, according to the newspaper, that on the afternoon of March 15 a kindergartner scratched a second grade student on the face “very badly” in the front of the bus while an aide was in the back row of the bus sitting between two other students. The district added in the statement that neither the bus driver or aide heard sounds of distress from the injured student. Once the driver became aware of his injuries, he had the aide check on the student, called the next school on the route, and asked for a nurse to render aid. He then collected information about the incident, the Johnson City Press reports.

Samantha Adkins, the student’s mother, told the newspaper that her son suffered fingernail scratches to the forehead, temple, and cheek surrounding his eye, and that health care providers believe his cornea may have also been scratched, causing swelling beneath his eye. Adkins added that she doesn’t agree with the district’s position that the bus aide acted responsibly in the incident, and that the district should reprimand the aide and raise its hiring standards for the position.

Unicoi County Schools added in its statement, according to Johnson City Press, that it appreciates the response from the bus driver, bus aide, and nurse during the incident, and that the district has extended its support to the students and families involved, including the offer to pay for medical expenses. The district also said in the statement that they will continue to review the matter to create a plan to prevent similar events from occurring on its special-needs school buses, according to the newspaper.

To read the full story, go here.

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