Jacksonville mother claims son was bit by classroom assistant

Bus driver told mother she saw assistant bite 7-year-old

Published On: Feb 12 2013 09:57:33 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 13 2013 07:00:48 AM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A Jacksonville mother is demanding answers after she claims her 7-year-old special-needs son was bitten by a classroom assistant on a school bus.

Ebony Mitchell said she wants a classroom assistant to be removed from Love Grove Elementary School, where her son attends. She said the classroom assistant should be kept away from other students.

Mitchell's son has Angelman syndrome, which is a neuro-genetic disorder, that has left him unable to speak.

The Southside mother told Channel 4 that after picking her son up from the bus stop Monday afternoon, the bus driver told her she saw a Love Grove Elementary School classroom assistant bite her 7-year-old son.

Mitchell said the classroom assistant rides on the bus with the children to help with their special needs.

"I was like 'Oh my gosh. Are you serious?' Like, who would bite a child?" said Mitchell.

Mitchell's son's finger was swollen and tender to the touch. With a visible infection, Mitchell said she wants an explanation for her son's injury.

"I want some answers. I would love some answers very soon," said Mitchell. "When I looked at his finger, you could see the blood and then you could see it was really swollen."

Mitchell's son was taken to Memorial Hospital and was treated with antibiotics. Department of Children and Families spokesperson John Harrell said DCF's investigation into this incident is still in the early stages.

"This is an allegation. We still need to determine what happened, but certainly there's no reason for anyone to bite a child," said Harrell. "We need to determine what happened in this case, and that's what we're working to do right now."

While Mitchell's son remains in good spirits, she said she wants to make sure this never happens to another child.

"If she bit my little boy, who else could she harm and didn’t have a voice to voice their opinion?" said Mitchell.

Channel 4 reached out to Duval County Public Schools spokesperson Wendy LeHockey, who provided Channel 4 with this statement:

"We are aware of the allegation that was made. We are currently working with school officials and the Department of Children and Families with this ongoing investigation."