LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas family is coming forward to tell their special needs son's story after they battled the Clark County School District for months to find out how he broke his leg while on board a bus.
"I can never find the right words, I felt hopeless," said Andrea Esquivel.
For Esquivel, the feeling began in 2016.
Her then 4-year-old son, Jabez Hernandez, was headed to school when he suffered the broken leg.
Esquivel said the authorities involved in the investigation, including the police, focused on her and her family.
"We were suspects and we did it and we better confess or else if you don't admit to it, and we find out you're lying or something, we'll throw you in jail," said Esquivel about an interrogation she had with police.
A months-long legal battle for video from on board the bus was met with resistance, said Esquivel.
"When we saw the video, we could not hold it together," said Esquivel.
A civil lawsuit filed against the school bus driver and CCSD claims the driver forced Hernandez to walk off the bus despite showing signs of pain and collapsing.
Esquivel said the video explained all she needed to know and is now calling for additional bus aides to be on board to supervise special needs children.
"I think, not only do we need more eyes on these children in the classroom and on the bus, but also there needs to be more training," said Terri Janison, president and CEO of Grant A Gift Autism Foundation.
Janison said there's simply not enough resources to help those and their families who are struggling with Autism.
"We don't have enough doctors, we don't have enough therapists," added Janison.
The lack of resources across the community is concerning with nearly 1 in 59 people being diagnosed on the Autism spectrum.
Online salary records indicate the school bus driver has been employed with the district since at least 2009 and appears to still be working for CCSD.
The Clark County School District released the following statement regarding the bus incident:
“The district considers school buses an extension of the classroom.
“The same zero tolerance for physical violence that is expected in the classroom is also expected on school buses.
“This incident dates back several years and has been settled.
“We understand the family’s concern and share their concern for their child and all children in the district.”