The parents of a 7-year old girl that wandered away from school after being forced to sit outside as a form of punishment are filing a lawsuit against the school district on their daughter’s behalf.
Samaya Dillard was attending Jefferson Elementary School in Natomas, Calif., a town near Sacramento, when she was forced to sit outside by one of her teachers for spilling water. After sitting alone for several hours, the girl wandered outside the school. According to the Daily Mail, Samaya crossed major intersections and freeways before being found in the parking lot of a shopping center over an hour after she had gone missing.
In response to the incident, Samaya’s parents Jason and Damia Dillard have filed a lawsuit against the Natomas Unified School District for causing emotional trauma and distress for the family.
The Dillard’s claim that Samaya had been in confrontation with Lupe Rodriguez, the teacher that forced her to sit outside, for several weeks prior to the incident. The girl’s parents had even met previously with the teacher to discuss the conflict between the two.
Samaya’s father explained to the Sacramento Bee that he and his wife were called to the school after officials discovered Samaya was missing.
“You were imagining all the different things that could happen. We can’t allow that to happen again. Not just with my child, with anybody’s child,” Jason said.
Samaya has already transferred to a new a school, but her parents claim that the girl has experienced emotional problems directly related to the incident and is now seeing a counselor.
The amount the Dillard’s are seeking in damages is currently unspecified.