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Parents Sue Texas Private School Over Severe Rope Burns Found on Daughter’s Neck

A photo showing the severe rope burns a 12-year-old girl sustained while on a school camping trip. Photo provided by Sandy Roguely's attorney, Levi G. McCathern II.

A photo shows the severe rope burns a 12-year-old girl sustained while on a school camping trip. Photo provided by Sandy Roguely’s attorney, Levi G. McCathern II.

The mother of a 12-year-old student at Waco’s Live Oak Classical School is suing the institution after her daughter returned from an overnight camping trip with severe rope burns around her neck.

Sandy Rougely filed a lawsuit Monday against the Waco, Texas private school and owner of the Blanco County ranch where the rope “accident” took place, KWTX reports.

School officials say the girl, who is African-American, sustained the injuries to her neck while she and other classmates were playing with a rope swing. Somehow the rope ended up around the child’s neck and she was subsequently yanked to the ground. Rougely doesn’t think it was an accident, however, and asserts that her child was the victim of racially motivated bullying.

“It looked like somebody had ripped her neck apart and stitched it back together,” Rougely told The Dallas Morning News in an exclusive interview last month. She said she didn’t know about her daughter’s accident until she arrived home and saw the laceration on her neck.

Following the incident, the Texas mother lawyered up with plans of filing a personal injury claim against the school. According to court records, Rougely’s suit is seeking over $3 million in damages to “not only compensate the victims in this case, but to deter this type of egregious conduct from others in the future, and to serve as an example to all educational institutions that this type of behavior is unacceptable with regard to both the treatment of children and their parents.”

Live Oak Classical School board member Jeremy Counseller has since accused Rougely and her lawyer of using race to try and exploit the school for their own financial gain, Atlanta Black Star reports. The school’s attorney, Dave Deaconson, received a copy of the lawsuit Monday morning but says it is filled with “misstatements” and “inaccurate assumptions” about what happened to the young student.

“We all know anybody can allege anything in a lawsuit. That doesn’t make it true,” Deaconson said. “We also need to keep in mind we’ve got 12-year-old kids involved, and adults need to react in a way that doesn’t put the 12-year-olds’ safety at risk, which many of them already have.”

The child, who has not been named in court filings, told The Dallas Morning News that none of the chaperones saw what happened to her on April 28. After being forced to the ground by the rope, she says she looked back and saw three white boys who had allegedly been picking on her. According to the publication, Rougely had previously notified the school about the alleged bullying, but nothing was ever done.

“That’s why I think it was on purpose,” her daughter explained to the news publication. “I think someone tried to tie it [the rope] around my neck.”

The child says she was examined by a parent, who is a doctor, after which her wound was treated with Vaseline and ibuprofen for the pain. Rougely was never notified by chaperones.

Despite this discrepancy, school officials continue to assert that the ordeal was an accident, not an incident of racially motivated bullying.

“Even if this incident was unintentional, the school’s lack of supervision to let this happen, dismissive and tone deaf response after it happened, and refusal to investigate until legally prompted to, showed an utter disregard for one of the only African American children in the school,” Rougely’s suit alleges.

Blanco County officials are now investigating the incident, KWTX reports. Rougely has since removed her daughter from the private school.

What people are saying

5 thoughts on “Parents Sue Texas Private School Over Severe Rope Burns Found on Daughter’s Neck

  1. & they did not inform the parents of this. Our children are not safe from these savages. In todays racist atmosphere why would one send their children to an all White function putting them lieterally behind Enemy lines

  2. A little Black girl was practically lynched by 3 white little boys – and the school dares to maintain that that's not racially motivated?! What kind of "accident" has a child getting a rope tied around her neck by other children? Let's throw out the fact that this is Texas – one of the most racist states in America. What disturbs me the most is where these boys learned this type of behavior (their parents) – 3 twelve-year-olds who just happen to know how to lynch Black people? Stay vigilant – our babies are not safe.

  3. Diana Kitch says:

    Doesn't look like an accident to me…

  4. Renae Pine says:

    A rope couldn't do this sort of damage by just whipping past her. That's total BS. This was deliberate.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and I guess white kids in an all black school are safe???? Yeah, I think not. It cuts both ways……when you bring up white on black racism you better be ready to address black on white racism.

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