Although he is outgoing and has a ready smile, Peyton Jarrett spends most of his time at home now as he recovers from head and facial injuries, bladder damage and surgery to repair an implanted device that helps prevent seizures.
The Bowie High School student, now 18, was diagnosed at age 4 with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a disorder that manifests itself in multiple seizures and mental impairment. (Photo: Peyton Jarrett and his mother Patty Jarrett. ST/Brandon Wade)
But his current problems are the aftermath of something that happened at school this spring.
On April 4, Peyton was pushed down a flight of 10 concrete steps outside Bowie by another special-education student while a district employee was distracted, according to a police report filed after his mother, Patty Jarrett, saw video taken by a surveillance camera.
It shows Peyton's wheelchair clattering to the bottom of the stairs with Peyton restrained inside, appearing to land head-first on the pavement at the bottom of the stairs.
Patty Jarrett and her husband, Hayden, say they plan to sue the Arlington school district, hoping to recoup expenses such as the cost of his medical care, ongoing nursing services and the price of a new $8,000 wheelchair.
School administrators have apologized in a letter that reads: "The AISD deeply regrets what happened to Peyton. It was an unfortunate accident that we take very seriously. The district is currently working to address this issue and make sure this doesn't happen again."