Geraldine High School Student’s Family Sues School District

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GERALDINE, Ala. (WHNT) - The parents of a Geraldine High School student filed a lawsuit against the Dekalb County Board of Education. The student suffered traumatic brain injuries. The student's family blames the school district.

Attorney Tommy James filed the lawsuit identifying the injured student, since he is a minor, as T.W. The lawsuit states T.W.'s family accuses several employees of Dekalb County Schools, including Geraldine High School's former principal, of causing the student's injuries.

“He fractured his skull. He received a traumatic brain injury and numerous other injuries as a result of it,” said James.

James told WHNT News 19 T.W. was on the school's football team in July 2012. He noted in the lawsuit, a fellow teammate known as L.P., because he’s a minor, punched T.W. in the head causing him to fall face forward during a mandatory summer football workout.

T.W.’s family claims the school's head football coach and his assistants were out of town and no school employees were around when the punch happened.

The family says no one at the workout provided medical attention for 30 minutes.

But, why a lawsuit nearly two years later?

”We`ve been trying to get paperwork from the school system on the statements. We kind of had to file a lawsuit just to get the documents because the school is not going voluntarily provide them to us,” added James.

T.W. has permanent head injuries. WHNT News 19 called and emailed, Hugh Taylor, the superintendent of Dekalb County Schools. Taylor has not gotten back. WHNT News 19 will continue working to get a response.


  • D C

    How do you have a mandatory workout with no coaches? I’m surprised this even came to light. Don’t stay up late waiting for Taylor to answer.

    Way to go Fooo Bowl Heroes. Guess what, none of you are going further than H.S. anyway. You can talk about “The Big TD” from your trailer porch 30 years from now.

    TW, I wish you well during your recovery and hope you make it back and have a great future and life. God’s Speed!

  • MD

    It was not a mandatory workout. They are optional in the summer. The altercation happened afterwards. It was unfortunate but the kid who hit him was kicked out of school. TW missed that season but was cleared and played this past season. There is much more to this than what is being reported.

    • D C

      Thanks MD. I thought there was more than this too it. I am troubled by the 30 minutes without help.

      I guess it’s only the lawsuit that made this newsworthy.

  • MD

    I had a relative who was there when it happened so I’ve heard this story many times the past two years. This was the first I ever heard about the 30 minutes. TW is a good kid who everyone seems to like. We hated what happened. We are just struggling to see why two years later this has come up. The way the story read it makes it look like the players run their own practices and that is sure not true. The coaches are very strict on the boys.

  • TS

    Why would the parents of a child that sustained a ‘traumatic brain injury’ even consider allowing their child to play such a contact sport as football again? Bad things happen to good people!!! I bet there are parents out there that can really give you insight on traumatic brain injuries!! Their children are in a vegetative state!!! I want to hope and pray that a parent would not sensationalize a situation and make situations appear worse than what they are for the sake of a dollar!!!

  • imok

    I really am saddened for both families involved, just as I was when this happened. Both are good families.. I know they are both wishing this had never happened. My heart goes to TW and his family but also LP and his. What is so sad is that they have to live this tragedy all over again. Boys fight. We as parents want to protect our children in every single way possible. Both families have been through H*%! not only because of this incident, but by dealing with the negativity as well (on both parts) Geraldine has always been a tight knit small town. Please, if you don’t know all the details, don’t assume. My prayers are with both families.

  • MD

    That’s the million dollar question. He was cleared around the second game of the season and played on both offense and defense. He went full contact. That is part of the reason why folks are stunned by what is happening. Every one including the School and Coaches were told that he was fine. He couldn’t get cleared the year before but was totally cleared this past year and played really well.

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