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Mom sues Metro Schools after student becomes paralyzed from jumping out 2nd story window

WA Bass Learning Center in Nashville-PHOTO: Google Earth Landsat

A Davidson County mother is taking legal action against Metro Nashville Public Schools after she says her mentally ill daughter jumped out of a second-story window while unsupervised at W.A. Bass Learning Center, leaving her paralyzed.

Virginia Dodson-Stephens said as a part of her adopted daughter's extensive medical history, her daughter has been diagnosed as being "100% intellectually disabled" with dissociative identity disorder, reactive attachment disorder, major depressive affective disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, mood disorder, conduct disorder, anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, insomnia and schizoaffective disorder. Dodson-Stephens also said as a result of her daughter's disorders, she experiences the presence of five personalities within herself.

Dodson-Stephens said her daughter has had "multiple episodes of assaultive and suicidal behavior" at every school and residential facility she has attended and was "fearful" of her daughter's safety in public school prior to her enrollment in a transition school program at the W.A. Bass Learning Center.

The concerned mother claims her daughter was left in an unsupervised classroom at W.A. Bass Learning Center with her classmates on February 23, 2018, when she jumped from an unlocked second-story window to the ground. The lawsuit claims a teacher should have been in the room to supervise the students to prevent the incident.

According to the lawsuit, Metro Schools employees knew the girl was "sexually promiscuous, skipped class, constantly heard voices, and used drugs at school with classmates" and that the window was "unlocked and easily opened."

The mother said she was initially told that her daughter jumped out of a window and broke her leg, but later learned that she suffered a spinal injury that left her paralyzed.

As a result of her fall, the student suffered an L1 burst fracture spinal injury and went through five and a half hours of spinal surgery at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, according to the lawsuit. She is now paralyzed from the waist down and must be catharized every four hours.

Legal documents say an investigator with the Department of Children's Services tried to speak with the girl's teachers, but the W.A. Bass principal would not allow it.

The negligence lawsuit seeks at least $300,000 in compensatory damages. FOX 17 News has reached out to Metro Schools about the lawsuit, although the school district is not typically able to comment on pending litigation.

This is a developing story. Updates will be posted here.

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