Hearne ISD Responds to Lawsuit:
"The Hearne Independent School District has been asked to comment on litigation that is pending against the District involving the death of one of its students. In the interest of preserving the privacy of the student’s family, we will not be commenting on the matter directly. However, it is important for our community to know that we strongly disagree with the allegations in the lawsuit, but we understand and encourage parents’ pursuit of their legal rights. We have strong policies and procedures in place to ensure student safety, and we want to assure families in the District that our students’ well-being is of paramount importance. Based on our legal counsel’s advice and because this is a pending legal matter, the District will allow the judicial process to take its course and will refrain from commenting further on the matter."
- Norris McDaniel, Interim Superintendent of Hearne ISD
HEARNE - Hearne I-S-D, one of its principals, and a teacher are being named in a lawsuit in the death of a student during an A-T-V accident last March. De'Jon Pierce, a junior at Hearne High School, died on March 21st 2013 near Franklin when the A-T-V he was on crashed into a tree.
According to the official complaint filed, Pierce's family claims a teacher at the school took De'Jon and another student off campus during school hours to tend to livestock without permission from his parents, and the principal and district didn't stop it from happening.
The parents claim the two boys were told to ride without helmets and were given no training, which goes against safe A-T-V policies suggested by the A-T-V manufacturer. Both students were reportedly thrown from the vehicle, and Pierce was killed.
Documents show the family is now suing for funeral expenses, mental anguish, and financial losses - and they've asked for a jury trial.
When asked for comment, Hearne ISD Interim Superintendent Norris McDaniel said that out of respect to privacy of the student's family, the district will not be commenting directly on the allegations, other than to say they strongly disagree with the claims.
McDaniel added that he supports the family's pursuit of legal rights.
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