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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The family of a little girl with special needs continues to mourn her death and search for answers. Jamiah Batts died on her school bus last month.

“You couldn’t not love her,” Jamiah’s mother Shantelle Colvin said. “She’d make your day. All she had to do was smile, and that was your day. You (were) happy for the rest of the day.”

Colvin says her daughter was a miracle baby. Jamiah had cerebral palsy. She died February 29 after being put on the bus to Rachel Freeman Elementary.

“I feel like there was some neglect,” Jamiah’s great aunt Alfredia McDonald said.

McDonald and Jamiah’s mom and dad, met with an assistant district attorney Friday to get more details about the investigation, but the toxicology reports and autopsy are not complete.

The family has many unanswered questions, like why was there not an adult monitor on the bus, and why was there not a camera on board.

In their time of grief, they say they find strength in Jamiah’s smile.

“She is going to be missed,” Jamiah’s father Marvin Batts said. “She won’t be forgotten.”

When the facts are known, Jamiah’s family hopes to make some changes. They even have plans to push for changes in state law about the way special needs children should be handled and monitored on a school bus.

“Someone dropped the ball, and when it comes down to special needs children, there is a lot that you have to consider,” McDonald said.

Although at this time, investigators do not believe the incident to be criminal, the family says they still plan to take legal action.

Jamiah was not living with her parents at the time of her death. Instead she was in a group home.

Her funeral is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Comment on this Story

  • guesty

    They are searching for a quick payday.

  • Parent

    I know that many will be angry that I wrote this, however something about this does not add up. If you wanted safety for your child, why put them in a group home? it does not add up. Another thing, if her safety was such a concern, why did you not drive your child to and from school? Yes, your angry and yes this is sad, but suing the school district for her death is not going to bring her back and another law we need like a hole in the head. How about parents get involved and be there for their children? This child’s well being was your responsibility no the schools. I am just wondering who paid for her daily needs?

  • Guest55455

    I don’t know the whole story. But I would sure know every detail before I said even one word about the family, about the girl, or about any thing that happen. The only thing I know for sure is that a family lost a child and deserves this be taken into consideration before anyone passes judgement. I don’t have a clue as to why this child was in a group home and to be honest it is not my business, so I will not judge this family because of this. People before you judge, know all the facts. My prayers go out to this family in the lost of a child.

  • Guest123

    The only neglect here is that her parents were to sorry to take care of her themselves. They will be filing a civil suit but don’t know against who yet? This is an absolute tragey to lose a young beautiful child. At least wait for all of the investigation and autopsy results before threatening to sue someone. Just looking for a payday. She is now in God’s loving arms…. but should have been in her parents loving arms while on earth. RIP dear Jamiah.

  • someone who cares

    Please know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers. Know that no one understands how hard it is to have a special needs child. Let not the world judge you, but let HIS WORD guide you. I am sorry that your beautiful baby has left us. Know that she has touched many.

    DON’t let the school system get away with what they did not do for your daughter! Know that you are doing the right thing!! GIVE YOUR CHILD A VOICE!!

    Prayers & love for the family

  • Guest28451

    first one person says she dumped her in a group home another says DSS kidnapped the child and put them in the home.. Which is it?? Sadly I believe its more likely the later. The DSS loves to operate under Hillary Clinton’s rule of it takes a Village to raise a child. Ive seen it first hand at times where DSS takes children supposedly for their own good and instead of them ending up better off they are moved from home to home with no stability and use any excuse to kidnap children from their parents.. Im not saying its true in every case but I fear more often then not DSS hijacks children who belong at home and put them in the system and then end up statistics and end up in group homes or worse like the supposedly psychiatric facility in Leland which is nothing more then a step up from Juvenille Detention. Most of the kids there and pumped full of meds to get them to “comply” or worse they get assaulted by wanna be jailers and nothing is done.. I dont for one minute believe kids are worse now its a case of a massive plot to turn our kids into good little socialist cogs. If they question authority or question anything they are punished and treated like criminals (like the story of the girl who was handcuffed and dragged to Juvy for tryign to go get her jacket out of her locker). This is getting out of hand. In fact the DSS wont let ya punish your children but if they dont act the way they approve of they just shove dangerous anti-pyschotics down their throat which result in major weight gain and other side effects, especially when the reality is very very few have legitimate pyschological issues compared the those who are having pills shoved down their throat. Pills arent the answer to discipline children. Love and attention with proper discipline applied in appropriate measures is the answer..

  • RL

    hopefully the family understands that this is a time for mourning and remembrance. Seems like more of blaming and finger pointing.

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