The 14-year-old was found dead last year in the Genesee River
ROCHESTER — A year after filing a notice of claim, the mother of Trevyan Rowe has officially filed a lawsuit against the Rochester City School District, the City of Rochester and several people including Mayor Lovely Warren, Board of Education President Van White, and former superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams.
Rowe, a 14-year-old boy with autism who attended School No. 12, went missing on March 8, 2018. He was found dead three days later in the Genesee River.
Carrie Houston is seeking "a monetary sum far exceeding the jurisdictional limitations" of lower courts in Rochester and New York state, the lawsuit states.
"Trevyan's tragic death was caused by Defendants' systemic failures and compounded by their lies and cover-up," the 57-page lawsuit says, claiming the school district and city "failed Trevyan and his family every step of the way."
The lawsuit alleges Rowe's needs were never properly addressed by the district, and the district didn't monitor him or keep him safe at school.
First responders are also accused of not properly handling his disappearance. The lawsuit says Warren and city agencies, including the fire department, police department, and the 911 center, "were careless, reckless and/or negligent under the circumstances," when handling a report that Rowe may have been on the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge the day of his death.
The agencies "failed to properly handle the emergency situation involving (Rowe's) disappearance," and "failed to dispatch the fire and water crews to the bridge."
The lawsuit comes just nearly three months after the state education department commissioner and New York's attorney general said Rowe "was failed at every level."
“The City of Rochester anticipated the lawsuit from the family of Trevyan Rowe," Communications Director Justin Roj said in statement. "This tragedy inspires us to continue to stand up for each and every child in the city of Rochester, to create a system where they have equal access to a quality education, and a fighting chance at life.”
In response to the lawsuit, the school district says it "will not be commenting on pending litigation."