Mother sues school board

$5 million sought in boy's drowning

February 24, 2007|By Josh Mitchell

The mother of an autistic boy who drowned in a public swimming pool last year is suing the Baltimore school board and a day care provider, saying they are responsible for her son's death.

Tyji Chester, 7, eluded supervisors at Lafayette Elementary School in West Baltimore last June, city police said. His body was found at the Central Rosemont pool. Police ruled the death an accidental drowning.

Under an arrangement with the school, the boy was to be supervised at the school by an employee of Care Resources Inc., said James Rhodes, an attorney for the boy's mother.

"Because of his autism, he was not allowed to be left alone, even for a second," Rhodes said.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Baltimore Circuit Court, accuses the defendants of negligence and wrongful death and seeks $5 million in damages.

"They were negligent of taking care of my son. They are responsible," said the boy's mother, Harriet Cox, of Northwest Baltimore. "I just want answers, and Baltimore city schools never gave me an answer."

A schools spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit, and the day care company could not be reached.

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