Perplexing Case: When Alleged Bully And Victim Have Developmental Disabilities
(CBS) - A 13-year-old Algonquin girl with Down syndrome says a boy in her class has repeatedly bullied and harassed her.
The girl's mother claims Algonquin Middle School officials have failed to protect her daughter, though the case presents unique challenges because both students are developmentally disabled.
In January, school officials alerted parents of Grace Sanchez that Grace may have been inappropriately touched by a younger student for the second time in three months. The school called Algonquin police, and, in a heavily redacted report, the officer noted the boy was in "the special education program ... due to intellectual learning disabilities."
The report says the boy acknowledged touched Grace but couldn't specify what part of her body.
No charges were brought because of the boy's "age and mental capacity."
Marca Bristo of Access Living says this case is complicated because both kids have disabilities.
"But it's still wrong," she says. "So, I think we have to look also at the responsible adults in the circumstances and understand what was done before this to intervene."
School officials declined CBS 2's interview requests.
But in a statement, a spokesman says the school "found that none of the reported incidents involved bullying or inappropriate touching" but added "the students involved no longer have any contact with each other."
Due to privacy issues, Jamie Mumber, Grace's mother, says she has not been told what measures have been taken to keep her daughter safe.
"They won't tell me what steps they've taken to keep her safe, and whatever they're doing obviously hasn't helped," she says.
Now, Mumber says she is moving her entire family to another school district.
Mumber says she recently put her Algonquin home up for sale and hopes to enroll her daughter in a new school as soon as possible.
Attempts to reach the boy's family were unsuccessful.