After an investigation, the Blanco County Sheriff’s Office said there was no evidence of any criminal act or intention to harm a 12-year-old black Waco girl who received rope burn on the neck from a swing in April 2016 during a school field trip and charges will not be filed.
Live Oak Classical School’s sixth grade students stayed on ranch as part of the trip on April 28th and 29th. According to the BCSO report, the children were playing on a swing that hung from a tree. The 12-year-old victim said she was playing with others at the swing and helped pull on the ropes. During an interview with a detective, the victim said she stopped pulling the rope and began watching when the rope somehow went around her neck. She said the rope had pulled tight and dragged her about an inch causing a burn.
Many of the children at the scene were interviewed offering different accounts – some saying the rope whipped around her neck or she fell toward the swing causing the rope to wrap around her neck.
A physician on the trip and tended to the victim’s injury and described it as a first degree friction burn.
An attorney for the victim claimed the incident was a racially motivated attack due to the girl being African-American. The investigation found there was no evidence found of any racially motivated acts toward the victim by anyone at or associated with Live Oak Classical School.
In a statement released by Live Oak Classical School, it stated the mother of the victim hired a lawyer who attempted to collect a quick multi-million dollar payment by threatening that he would go to the press and claim the incident was intentional and racially motivated.
The school rejected the attorney’s demand. The school has willingly worked with the Blanco County Sheriff’s Department in their investigation of the incident. Live Oak Classical School stated they will stand by the facts of this independent investigation, and that remains true with today’s release of the completed report. – David Deaconson, spokesperson for Live Oak Classical School.
In the report by the sheriff’s office, it stated the injuries were classified by three different physicians as minor or superficial rope burn. Also, the victim’s account of the rope pulling tight and her being dragged one inch, is likely disproven by the evidence, the report stated.
The Sheriff’s office will request the case to be reviewed by a local prosecutor. However, the case has been recommended to be closed with no further action.