Girl’s mother blames racism and demands $2.7 million in damages from school.
When Sandy Rougely’s 12-year-old daughter returned from a one day camping trip on April 28, Sandy was shocked to see a horrible rope burn on the front side of the kid’s neck.
“It looked like somebody had ripped her neck apart and stitched it back together,” the Waco mother told The Dallas Morning News.
It is still a mystery, how such an unusual trauma could occur, but there are at least two accounts of the events and they differ dramatically.
Live Oak Classical School released an official statement, saying the injury of a sixth-grader, who was one of only two black students on the trip, was “caused accidentally” and took place while the children were playing with a rope swing.
A member of the private school’s board, Jeremy Counseller, addressed The Dallas Morning News with the following allegation.
“…The student and some of her classmates were playing with a swing and an attached pull-rope on a field trip,” Counsellor wrote. “The student received first aid treatment immediately after the accident by a parent chaperone who is also a physician, and she was able to enjoy the remainder of the field trip, which lasted through the next day. Live Oak takes the safety of its students seriously and is saddened that one of its families suffered an unfortunate accident and injury.”
Rougely’s daughter is telling a very different story, where the rope was unexpectedly put on her neck from behind when she wasn’t watching. She also says she got no help from any of her classmates, so after removing the rope she turned back and saw three white boys, who used to pick with her before.
“That’s why I think it was on purpose,” the girl said.
“I think someone tried to tie it around my neck.”
Neither the poor girl nor her mother believes the situation was an accident. Sandy Rougely suspects racially motivated bullying, so she filed a personal injury claim against the school and hired a lawyer, Levi McCathern, who demanded $2.7 million in damages from Live Oak to cover private school through the 12th grade, college, and living expenses, so that the girl could have medical or legal training.
It’s no surprise the school continues to call the situation an accident, none of the teachers, who must have been watching the middle-school student bullied, and none of the parents, who let the seeds of racism rise in the hearts of their children, are ready to bear the responsibility for the fearsome incident. There will be a separate investigation by the representatives of Blanco County to dig the root of the matter.
We are looking forward to the results of the investigation, as there is still a chance not to let one more generation of violent racists grow and poison the soul of the community.
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