Parents suing school after they say special needs son was molested by bus aide


UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WDCW) — The family of a young boy who prosecutors say was assaulted by a bus aide is suing Prince Georges County school officials.

Charles Nichols and Bonnecia Potts say last year, they were sending their 4 year old son, who has special needs, to pre-kindergarten, in hopes of getting him extra classroom time. However, this year, they say they are taking him to counseling, for PTSD.

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“He is scarred, it is going to take a lot of years of counseling,” said Nichols.

Nichols and Potts say they have reasons to believe their son is one of the children prosecutors say was molested by Prince George’s County school bus aide, Michael Patopie. Patopie is being held without bond on multiple child abuse and sexual abuse charges.

“He was real reluctant about getting on the school bus, and we feel bad now because we actually made him get on the school bus, not knowing what was going on,” Nichols explained.

Now the parents have filed a lawsuit against the Prince George’s County School Board, Superintendent Dr. Kevin Maxwell, Patopie, and the PGPS transportation supervisor for negligence and emotional distress.

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The lawsuit states that the bus driver told her higher ups about the molestation incidents and those cases were caught on surveillance video, but the bus aide was not immediately removed from the bus.

PGPS says it is their practice not to comment on on-going litigation.

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