Special needs student returns from school, mother enraged at condition
TEXAS CITY, Texas (FOX 26) - A woman who contacted FOX 26 News is now getting answers regarding what happened to her special needs son. Typically, Daniel Artmore is home from school by 2 p.m. but when he didn't arrive on time earlier this week, his mother began contacting the school. She says she couldn't believe what happened from there.
“It's heartbreaking," says Sherlonda Hampton, who stops mid-sentence, puts her face in her hands and begins to cry. "It's very heartbreaking what happened to my son and it actually...”
The school bus usually arrives, like clockwork, to bring 20-year-old Artmore home from La Marque High School, but on Tuesday, Artmore was brought home more than three hours late.
“He was soaking wet from urine from his waist to his ankles," adds Hampton. "I was appalled. He was drenched in urine. That upset me, that grew fury in me.” Hampton says she turned to the school to find out what happened to her special needs son.
“It's emotional because I'm his advocate," explains Hampton. "He cannot speak for himself.”
Artmore has cerebral palsy, is mentally challenged and is mostly non-verbal. Hampton says she made calls and a trip to La Marque High School and was told someone would get back with her.
“To be pushed around and for my concerns not to be taken seriously, it made me feel disrespected and like they didn’t care about what happened to my son,” says Hampton.
FOX 26 News contacted the Texas City Independent School District and was told that the special needs bus broke down on Tuesday and other buses were taking students on a field trip, so there was no transportation for Artmore. A school representative did soon return Hampton's call. She told the representative that she feels her son was neglected for hours and treated inhumanely.
“He was treated like an animal,” says Hampton.
Hampton says life hasn't been easy for Daniel. He suffered a stroke as a baby. ”He actually wasn't supposed to survive to live as long as he lived. They actually told me my son would be dead within three days”. Twenty years later and life may be a challenge for Daniel but Hampton says she will demand he's treated with dignity.
“It's like I have to fight for his rights. Every day I send him out it's like I have to fight for his rights,” Hampton says while wiping tears away.
A spokesperson for Texas City ISD says what happened to Daniel is unacceptable and an investigation is underway to figure out what happened and to keep it from happening again.