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Parents Blame Middle School for 11-Year-Old Hillsborough County Student’s Death

Posted on November 5, 2012

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating how an 11-year-old special needs student with Downs Syndrome slipped by six teacher’s aides during gym class, got outside, and drowned in a retaining pond behind her middle school.

The devastated father has taken aim at Rogers Middle School and blamed them for his daughter’s death. He wonders how six teacher’s aides failed to notice his daughter was missing.

“The truth is they didn’t take care of her,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. “Those teachers need to watch over those children. Children with special needs need care.”

Deputies conducted an intense search of the school grounds and the area surrounding the middle school after they received the report that the girl was missing. Sadly, divers brought in six hours later discovered the girl at the bottom of a retention pond about 100 yards from the school.

Detectives are still gathering information and the superintendent for the Hillsborough County School District said that the district also plans on carrying out its own investigation. “At this time not all the facts are in and we’re not going to reach a conclusion,” a spokesman for the school district said.

While they wait for answers, the family suffers and the girl’s father is left to wonder how this could have happened. There is nothing worse than losing a child, he told the Times.

The lawyers at Farah & Farah offer our sincere condolences to the family of the little girl who died in this avoidable tragedy. Schools owe a special duty to look after students, especially those with special needs. If you’ve lost a loved one due to the negligence of others, we can help. Call us at (800) 533-3555. Your call and your consultation are free and confidential.