Mother: Son with disabilities stranded at the Bronx Zoo in the rain

Posted: Updated:

The mother of a student with disabilities says he was stranded at the Bronx Zoo in the rain last Wednesday.

Maria Alvarez says the West Bronx Academy for the Future should have never allowed her son, Anthony Maisonave, to walk to the zoo without his motorized wheelchair. She claims she told the paraprofessional this over the phone before the field trip.

Alvarez says her son has a type of muscular dystrophy and that the school blatantly disregarded Anthony's IEP, which states that "he currently uses a wheelchair and requires accessible transportation." However, she says that instead they listened to Anthony's claim that his mother was OK with him walking.

The school said they called Anthony's father when they couldn't get in touch with Maria to confirm. She says her son's father only consented on the condition that she approved, which she says she did not.

Alvarez says her son can't walk past two blocks without collapsing. He couldn't walk back to the school because his body hurt.

"I found my son on the floor of Fordham Road and Southern Boulevard. So they just left him there," said Alvarez.

"You broke his IEP, and you also violated his disability rights. You know? My son could have collapsed, broken a bone, there is so much to risk with someone with muscular dystrophy," said Alvarez.

The city's Department of Education released a statement saying, "The safety, comfort, and needs of our students come first, and the school has apologized to this family. We are looking into this concerning allegation and will take any additional necessary follow-up action."

Alvarez says the school made no effort to transport her son back. She says she received an apology from the principal five days later.

Alvarez is pursuing legal action at this time.

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