A Christian school in Waco, Texas is facing a $3 million lawsuit after accusations that three male white students intentionally dragged a female black classmate around with a rope around her neck.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the girl’s parents says that while on a camping trip with classmates from Live Oak Classical School, three boys snuck up behind the girl and wrapped a rope from a nearby tree swing around her neck and yanked her backwards, leaving a rope burn that almost encircled her entire neck.
The family’s attorneys say the school did not contact the parents after the incident took place. The girl’s mother, Sandy Rougel, said she only learned of the incident when her daughter stepped off the bus after the class returned from the trip, adding that she believes the incident to be racially motivated and that her child had been bullied for months beforehand.
“It looked like somebody had ripped her neck apart and stitched it back together,” the girl’s mother said.
From The Dallas Morning News:
Live Oak Classical School said in a previous statement that the girl’s injuries were “caused accidentally” while the students — eight girls and 14 boys — were playing with a rope swing attached to a tree. The girl was one of two black students on the trip.
Authorities are investigating how the girl was injured. [School attorney David Deaconson] said the school will continue to cooperate with the investigation by the Blanco County sheriff.
Three White boys tie a rope around a Black girl's neck and yank her so bad she has severe rope burns but…nah…just a playground accident
— Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones) June 14, 2016
According to court records, the lawsuit seeks 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.”
The girl told The News that none of the adult chaperones saw the incident. She believes that three white boys who she and her mother said bullied her during the school year purposely hurt her. Rougely said she contacted the school several times about bullying, but the problem only got worse.
The rope should have fallen to the ground if the kids had simply let go of it, the girl said. She had her back to the boys and didn’t see anything, then felt the rope around her neck. The force knocked her down.
“That’s why I think it was on purpose,” the girl said. “I think someone tried to tie it around my neck.”