make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

FIRST ON 3: Toxicology report sheds little light on death of child on school bus


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A toxicology report shows little new info about the death of a special needs girl on a New Hanover County school bus earlier this year. Eight-year-old Jamiah Batts died shortly after arriving by bus at Rachel Freeman School of Engineering February 29.

A toxicology report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner shows Batts had Atropine and Levetiracetam in her system at the time of her death. Atropine is a drug given to increase heart rate. Levetiracetam is an anticonvulsant often used to treat epilepsy.

Batts suffered from Cerebral Palsy and was confined to a wheelchair. There have been questions about whether she was properly restrained in her chair when she got on the bus from a group home where she lives.

The state fined the group home last month. In its report on the facility's deficiencies, the state cited an eight-year-old girl with CP who died February 29. According to an interview with a staff member, the lap belt on the girl's wheelchair was so tight that she would vomit every evening after school and had bruises on her hips.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Schools killed that child

It outrages me to think our schools are too stingy to afford a bus monitor on that poor child's bus. Now that we know there was no poison in her, the official cause of death can now be called negligent homicide. But then how do you arrest a school district?

bus monitor

Maybe a parent could volunteer to monitor the special needs bus? All these kids have parents. At least its another set of eyes to avert a problem or cal 911.

On the bus

Are you sure you want strangers on board with your child? Who takes the responsibility that one of these parents is not a sex predator?

The group homes responsibility ended when the child was on the bus.


SO in between getting on the bus and off it (30 min max.) with the driver present, you think a special needs kid could get sexually molested. Wow you are paranoid !

I would never send my child to public school if it was special needs. But if I had to I would be on that bus myself or driving my kid there.

The article stated that she

The article stated that she lived in a group home. If such, it is likely that she was not in her parents legal care. Regardless of school monitors, etc., the problem is the lack of care and attention that was given to this child at this group home. There needs to be more accountability there.