How did a young girl end up with a rope burn around her neck? That’s what happened to Sandy Rougely’s daughter while she was on an overnight camping trip with her 6th grade class. The girl is black and Rougely believes it was a racially motivated attack. The girl had been bullied at her predominantly white school prior to the trip for months.
The girl claims the incident happened while she and other students were playing with a rope swing. She stopped to watch, when all of a sudden she felt the rope come up around her neck from behind her. It was pulled so hard that she fell to the ground and pieces of rope were embedded into the skin on her neck.
She looked back to see three white boys who had been holding the rope. The girl asked, “Guys, did you do that on purposes?” to which they responded, “No. Why would we do that on purpose?”
The girl very nervously told The Dallas Morning News that the rope had been dropped to the ground after the boys let go of it. “That’s why I think it was on purpose. I think someone tried to tie it around my neck.”
The school never called Sandy Rougely to alert her of the incident and her daughter never received medical attention other than from a parent chaperone (who is a physician) who applied Vaseline to the injury and gave her ibuprofen.
Next page: See a close-up of the injury.
The school claims the injury was an accident, saying in a statement:
The lawyer claimed that the student’s injuries were a racially motivated, intentional attack. Live Oak takes this accusation seriously. The school interviewed all student eyewitnesses and teachers who were present and each independently established that the accusation made by the attorney is absolutely false. The injuries were caused accidentally while the students were playing with the swing and attached pull rope. The attorney was advised of the results of the interviews.
The statement accused the attorney, who also represents the Dallas Cowboys, of trying to “exploit” the 100th anniversary “of the lynching of Jesse Washington in Waco.” According to the statement, the girl’s attorney, Levi McCathern, threatened to make the allegations public unless the school ponied up $2.7 million.
The attorney responded, “I don’t know how you can look at her neck, at the pictures and think this was anything but intentional.”
The day after the incident, the principal sent an email to Rougely making sure the girl was ok, but was clearly convinced that it was an accident saying, “I just wanted to check on your daughter. 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.”
Police are currently investigating the matter. Hopefully no children would do something like this intentionally and if they did, they should be brought to justice. Either way, the school did not act appropriately in a matter like this, and it should also be addressed.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.