Lawsuit Filed Against Hearne ISD in Student ATV Death

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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.