CHICAGO (CBS) — It is nightmare fuel for parents – your child coming home from school with mystery bruises and being unable to explain what happened.
A Belmont Heights mom said she lived that nightmare, and the fight that followed to get her out of that school made things worse. So she called CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra and got quick results.READ MORE: Man Dies After Being Shot In West Garfield Park
There is always something new for 4-year-old Lily to discover.
“She’s just a loving little girl and everything is amazing about her,” said mom Katherine Rosario.
And Rosario is proud. Lily has autism, and started pre-K this year – and the whole family was excited.
That was until Lily came home to Belmont Heights on Thursday, Sept. 2.
“I lifted her shirt and you saw some of them, but when I took off her shirt and saw her back, I was like: ‘Oh, my God. What the hell happened?’” Rosario said.
Rosario shared these pictures of bruises she says she captured on camera that night. She called the Chicago Public Schools’ Canty Elementary School first thing the next morning, demanding answers.
Two things happened next. Rosario said the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services began an investigation into how the bruises happened, and she asked that her daughter be transferred immediately.READ MORE: 15-Year-Old Critically Wounded, Among 2 Shot In Belmont Heights Online Sale Meetup
“My daughter is non-verbal. I am her voice. I am her advocate,” Rosario said. “I am telling you that I want her transferred for her safety – for my peace of mind.”
Rosario shared an email exchange she says are with a staffer from CPS who first denied a transfer, but wrote, “Should the DCFS investigation suggest that a change of school location be necessary for her safety, we will certainly reconsider.”
Last Monday, that staffer said they were “looking into the possibility of a change in school assignment. But another five days went by.
“It’s been two weeks that she’s not been in school, and I don’t think that’s fair,” Rosario said.
On Friday morning, we reached out to CPS, and received a statement after 6 p.m. that night. It contradicted those emails, saying transfers generally happen “within a day or two” and “regardless of whether the [DCFS] investigation has been completed”.
Forty-five minutes later, Rosario said she got an email from CPS, saying Lily’s transfer to the school she wanted went through.
“All I wanted from this situation was to put my daughter in another school,” Rosario said. “I just wanted her out of there.”
After getting the green light, Lily’s parents enrolled her at the new school today.
She’ll start Wednesday.
They say DCFS’s investigation into the source of that bruising continues.