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Suit: Boy falls, teacher says crawl back to Skokie school

The exterior Devonshire Elementary School Skokie Illinois. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

The exterior of Devonshire Elementary School in Skokie, Illinois. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: February 6, 2012 9:26AM

Teachers at a Skokie school forced a 6-year-old with a broken leg and a concussion to crawl back to his classroom across an icy playground, then failed to call for an ambulance, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Kindergartner Rahul Chandani slipped on a mound of snow and hit his head in the playground at Devonshire Elementary School on Jan. 3 last year, but didn’t get any medical help until his mom came to get him, the lawsuit filed in Cook County circuit court by Chandani’s parents Pritam and Priya alleges.

“His teacher told him, ‘You’re a big boy — I can’t carry you,’” the boy’s mother, Priya Chandani, said Wednesday, “She told him to walk back, but his leg was broken so he fell again and then had to crawl at least 200-300 feet back to the school building.

“If someone did that to me as an adult, I’d slap them.”

Skokie School District 68 officials declined to comment on the negligence suit Wednesday, but Chandani said that her son was off school for six weeks recovering from the injuries, that he had trouble sleeping, needed six months of rehabilitation and was “emotionally scarred” by the incident.

He suffered a fractured tibia and a hematoma to his head, according to the suit. His mother added that the lump on his head was “the size of a tennis ball” and that he had complained of dizziness but that the school did not provide him with proper medical attention and did not have a wheelchair to move him. She saw him crawling when she came to get him from the school and took him to the hospital, she said.

“This could have happened to any child,” she said. “As soon as I saw him I knew something was wrong.”

She said the accident had happened on an icy patch near some swings, adding that she didn’t understand why the children were forced to walk across the area by teachers. “You can’t expect 6-year-olds to be careful in a place like that,” she said.

The suit seeks in excess of $200,000 in damages.

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