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Family sues Southwest Florida Christian Academy after teen suffers spinal injury while horsing around

What started off as two friends horsing around ended in a severe injury and a lawsuit.

A family has sued Southwest Florida Christian Academy after their son snapped his neck while horsing around with a second teen.

The teen with the injury now lives with limited motion.

The lawsuit claims the school is at fault because the teens should have had better supervision.

The school did not return a request for comment.

The incident happened back in 2019 during a physical education class at the school, according to the family’s attorney Ty Roland.

“Kids were left alone to do, I guess whatever it is they chose to do, which was either play on their cell phones, or in this case, we have video of exactly what happened,” Roland said.

Video of the incident shows the teens playfight, while one of them ends up on the floor. In the background of the video, a man the family says is the P.E. teacher turns back to look at the commotion and then returns to his conversation.

The family says the school is not only responsible for letting the incident happen but also for what happened afterward.

Someone moved the 14-year-old teen and shook him, Roland said.

“It’s a very simple concept,” Roland said. “When someone suffers a head injury or neck injury, or you even suspect that someone may have suffered a head or neck injury, you keep them still, you don’t move them.”

The teen is OK after extensive spinal surgery, but his life as an athlete is forever changed.

“You trust that these people you’re turning your prized possession over to are going to be the caregivers,” Roland said.

The student has not returned to school since the incident.

The family filed the lawsuit after months of trying to come to an agreement with Southwest Florida Christian Academy, Roland said.

“It just shouldn’t have happened,” Roland said. “The family feels very strongly that this should never happen again.”

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Writer:Melissa Montoya
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