A Black mother in Waco, Texas is outraged after her daughter came home from a school trip with rope burns around her neck. Sandy Rougley sent her daughter on an overnight school trip with her sixth grade classmates last month. During the trip, according to school officials a rope was mistakenly wrapped around her daughter’s neck while on a makeshift swing. However, Rougley maintains the rope was deliberately put around her neck by three White male students. It resulted in horrific scarring and pain to her daughter and she has filed a $2.72M lawsuit against the school.
According to Rougley, her daughter had been bullied for months at Live Oak Classical School where attendance costs $7K per year and she is outraged at the incident and the school’s response. She stated she did not know about her daughter’s injury until after she returned from the school trip with the rope burns around her neck. Her daughter was initially treated by a school chaperone, who is also a medical doctor that rubbed Vaseline on her injury and gave her ibuprofen for pain. When she arrived home, her mother took her to the emergency room where a spinal exam was done and she was given pain relief, antibiotics and an inhaler. Rougley stated, “I think there was prejudice at the root of all of this. I didn’t want to say it at first. I didn’t want to see it like this, in this way. But as I go back and think about the different things that were going on and occurring in the school year, that’s all I can see. And nobody did anything about it.”
The school’s dean, identified as Allison Buras, sent an email to Rougley that stated in part, “Did you take her to the doctor? How is she? We were glad to have a doctor on our trip who could check her out or we also might have felt a need to take her in. I remember getting rope burns as a child and they are not fun! I hope she is doing OK.”
Rougley and her daughter are now being represented by lawyer Levi McCathern, who also works for the Dallas Cowboys. McCarthern stated, “For Live Oak to bury their head in the sand and chalk this incident up to ‘kids being kids’ is irresponsible but, unfortunately, all too common.”
The school denies the allegations of racism and claims that the lawyers are trying to take advantage of the situation.