Wapato Parents Sue School After Attacked Disabled Son Almost Dies
Parents of a former middle school student of Wapato filed a lawsuit after their son almost died from an attack at the school. The family's story is complicated and sad, here is what happened.
What Happened at Wapato Middle School?
Drake Martin, the student in the attack, suffers from multiple disabilities including "a non-random association of birth defects that affects multiple parts of his body, including limb abnormalities. He also has Klippel Feil Anomaly, which limits his neck movement" says the lawsuit. The parents also say in the lawsuit that "the school district’s actions violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Washington Law Against Discrimination, state laws regarding negligence, harassment, intimidation and bullying" according to news reports. The attack happened on October 17, 2019 when the student Drake was punched the face and harassed by other students.
How Did Drake Martin Almost Die After the Attack?
When Drake was attacked, he was sitting alone on the bleaches with his laptop. A group of 3 students then "started trying to mess with the computer and Drake tried to defend himself and the computer, one of the kids punched him in the face" his father said according to reports. After the attack Drake suffered from a concussion and damage to his neck. His neck injury led to a spinal fusion surgery and shortly after "a brain infection the family believes was tied to his injuries and required two open brain surgeries to fix." His father said "“He almost died, It was a good solid week-and-a-half where he didn’t know who we were, as his parents" according to reports.
Wapato School District Is Sued
Now the parents of Drake have filed a lawsuit against the Wapato School District because "it’s the district that’s responsible for the circumstances that allowed for Drake to be injured in the first place and for how they responded after that" according to his father. He says the school treated Drake like he was equally guilty in the attack and was also suspended. Then after the attack, they refused to protect him from the students that assaulted him according to the lawsuit.
Wapato School District Responds
The Wapato School District released a statement after receiving the lawsuit details according to reports. "The Wapato School District recently received notification about a suit filed in federal district court regarding a student related altercation that happened three years ago (October 2019). While the district is not able to comment about the details related to this ongoing litigation, what we can say is that since the case was just recently filed, we are working with legal counsel through the very early stages of responding to the filing. Safety is a priority for all students in the Wapato School District and we have confidence the judicial process will result in answering the questions that have been raised about liability cited in the filing."
What Are Drake's Parents Asking For?
The lawsuit is asking for "compensation for Drake’s extensive medical bills and for all the ways this experience has made a life already full of challenges." The parents want the "school to understand that they treated this kid wrongly and hope that it doesn’t happen to another kid down the road" according to reports. After Drake mostly healed from the attack, he transferred to Zillah and is thriving but only able to attend for a half day. His father describes Drake "He’s an amazing kid, He’s the kid that roots for the underdog, you know." Now all of Wahington is rooting for you Drake!