Hillsborough parents of special needs boy covered in bites meet with district officials

Photo of Connor's ant bites (Family photo)

PLANT CITY, FL (WFLA) — 8 On Your Side will be there when the parents of a special needs boy, covered in ant bites, will meet with Hillsborough County District officials Friday morning at 9 a.m. Since we first brought you this story Wednesday, Conner’s mom says the bites are even worse.

The 10-year-old has severe autism and Down syndrome. According to his parents, he came home from school Wednesday afternoon with 45 times ant bites.

“I’m very frustrated. That’s my baby,” Chandra Steward, Conner’s mom, said. “I said, ‘I’m trusting you because you said you’ve got this.’ But, they obviously didn’t have it.”

Photo of Connor's ant bites (Family photo)
Photo of Connor’s ant bites (Family photo)

She’s frustrated the district didn’t do more to protect her son. Her concerns aren’t just about the bites, either. The family says Conner recently switched from a Pasco County school to Knights Elementary in Plant City. Even though he functions at the level of a toddler, he’s in a regular fifth-grade class.

“My son can’t even speak. He can’t even talk, and these kids are doing geography. I’m angry. I’m so angry. I’m angry that they let Conner down. He doesn’t belong at the school,” Stewart told WFLA.

The district maintains they had a para-professional with Conner, and that when the child got the ant bites, they treated him and told his parents. Tanya Arja, a district spokesperson, tells 8 On Your Side the meeting is to figure out what’s next for Conner and “they’ll go over this child’s needs and decide the best place he needs to go.”

Conner’s parents invited 8 On Your Side to the meeting Friday morning. We’ll keep you updated as to what happens next.

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