Family doesn't know where boy's burn came from

Family says burn showed up 2 years ago, believes it came from school

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A boy came home from school one day with a burn on his leg, but his family said they don't know why.

Now they've hired an attorney to get to the bottom of it.

The family of 12-year-old Sebastian Hernandez said the burn showed up on his leg two years ago. They believe it happened at Love Grove Elementary, a public school on Jacksonville's Southside.

The family said Sebastian also fell out of his wheelchair and onto his face two weeks ago.

His mother, Monica Hernandez, said she's worried he's not getting the special care he needs and that other kids may be at risk, too. She doesn't think it was intentional but does think it was negligent.


Sebastian is a typical 12-year-old who likes to play outside and joke with his brother. He does have spina bifida though, which means he has no feeling from the waist down and must stay in this wheelchair.

Monica Hernandez, who only speaks Spanish, spoke Tuesday through her attorney, Arthur Hernandez, who isn't related.

"To drop him off at school that day, and when she picked him up she found this on his left leg," Arthur Hernandez said. "Now how did it get there? Unfortunately, nobody knows."

He said because of his condition, Sebastian didn't know anything was wrong until he got home. Doctors said it was a second-degree burn, one that could have come from hot water, food or coffee.

Sebastian's lawyer said there was another incident at school where he had to go to the emergency room after falling on the playground.

"His wheelchair got caught and he fell face forward, and it is further evidence of negligence and lack of concern by the school, especially for someone like Sebastian," Arthur Hernandez said.

Sebastian's mother and her attorney said they've been asking the school and the district for answers about the incidents but haven't gotten anywhere. They said teachers did write a report for the wheelchair fall two weeks ago but did nothing about the burn that happened two years ago.

"They conducted no investigation whatsoever, and now here we are two years post-event and they're still not doing anything," Arthur Hernandez said.

Sebastian's mom said his safety and well-being are paramount, and she won't stop until she gets answers.

The family has not filed a lawsuit against the school. Arthur Hernandez said it's not his style, but he does want answers and solutions. If they don't get that, they might have to take it to court.

A school district spokeswoman said because of student privacy, she couldn't comment.

As for how the family can prove the burn didn't happen at home, they said because of Sebastian's condition, he goes to the doctor weekly, and they can attest that there have never been any issues and his mother takes good care of him.