Parents file lawsuit after child with Down Syndrome dragged

CUBA, N.M. (KRQE) – The video is hard to watch.

Surveillance video obtained by KRQE News 13 shows 7-year-old Cameron Trujillo, who has Down Syndrome, dragged by the arm through Cuba Elementary School by educational assistant Vivian Sandoval.

A lawsuit filed by the boy’s parents says the state makes it far too easy for that kind of thing to happen.

Cameron, who has Down Syndrome, had trouble communicating.

The May 2012 incident may have stayed hidden if a custodian hadn’t reported it.

“He wasn’t able to come home and say, ‘Mom this is what happened at school today,'” Cameron’s mother Jacquelen told News 13 at the time.

A new lawsuit filed by Cameron’s parents alleges it wasn’t the first time he had been dragged through the hallway.

It says the Cuba Elementary School principal reported incidents to the New Mexico Public Education Department, which didn’t take action.

According to the lawsuit, the principal then went straight to law enforcement with surveillance video.

Sandoval pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to probation.

The lawsuit says the video is evidence of a bigger problem in New Mexico, a lack of regulation that makes it far too easy for children with disabilities to be treated in dangerous ways.

“Cuba’s freewheeling approach…creates a dangerous situation,” the lawsuit says.

The parents are asking for damages and that the New Mexico PED and Cuba Schools change their policies.

Neither agency wanted to comment.

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