Boy's mother sues District 301, bus driver, aide over his teeth getting knocked out
A lawsuit has been filed against Burlington Elementary District 301, a bus driver and the bus aide who authorities say punched an 8-year-old special needs student in the face and knocked out two teeth in an Oct. 2 attack on a school bus.
The lawsuit, filed in late November by the boy's mother, seeks unspecified damages from District 301 and the driver for negligence, and from Jean M. Micklevitz, 63, of the 300 block of South Street, Burlington, who was arrested and charged with felony aggravated battery in the attack.
The lawsuit argues the district and bus driver, who has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing, failed to take steps to protect the boy. It contends Micklevitz, a retired Burlington Fire Protection District firefighter/paramedic, directly caused the boy's injuries.
John Kopp, Micklevitz's defense attorney, did not return messages seeking comment.
Both Micklevitz and the driver were suspended and later fired from their jobs with the District 301.
Burlington School Superintendent Todd Stirn on Tuesday declined to comment, saying the litigation was ongoing. In late October, Stirn wrote in an email that Micklevitz had been properly trained and the attack was an "isolated, unfortunate exception, and does not reflect the dedication and professionalism of the rest of the district."
According to a Kane County sheriff's report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, the bus driver disputed Micklevitz's initial statement that the boy hit his head on a window and bumped her arm, causing his teeth to fall out.
During an Oct. 14 interview with authorities, the bus driver said she was calling her base for help for the student, who had kicked Micklevitz in the face, when the driver saw Micklevitz's right arm twice make a punching motion.
"(The bus driver) stated that it was not as if Jean pulled her arm all the way back, but it was more of a quick forward movement. Immediately after that, (the boy) started to cry and yell out that Jean knocked out his tooth," read part of the report.
A deputy who watched the video wrote in the report that "it appeared Ms. Micklevitz made affirmative movements possibly hitting (the student) in the mouth with her right arm. (The student's) screaming and crying increased at that point," read part of the report.
A message seeking comment that was left with James Pullos, attorney for the boy's mother, was not immediately returned. The suit is next due in court Feb. 20, 2020.
Micklevitz is free on bail, next due in court Dec. 20. If convicted, she faces a sentence ranging from probation to up to five years in prison.