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Parents sue Georgia school system in gym mat death

VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) - The parents of a south Georgia teenager found dead inside a rolled-up gym mat at school have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against school administrators.

The parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson of Valdosta sued Monday in Superior Court. Their lawsuit blames the Lowndes County school board for allowing Johnson to die "at the hands of one or more students" while at his high school during school hours.

Classmates found Johnson's body inside a rolled-up mat propped in a corner of the gym Jan. 11, 2013.

Sheriff's investigators concluded that he died in a freak accident, having fallen into the mat and gotten stuck upside down.

Johnson's parents insist that someone killed him.

The school board's attorney, Warren Turner, did not immediately return a call Tuesday from The Associated Press.

Ga. Teen Found in Gym Mat Without Organs

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writing456 July 29 2014 at 3:01 PM

Sounds like he was murdered. Who can fall into a rolled up gym mat, I mean really? And his organs were replaced with newspaper after the autopsy? Why would someone do that?

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1 reply
grgblnk1 writing456 July 29 2014 at 7:01 PM

That's SOP

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AMedicGary July 29 2014 at 2:49 PM

can a black person die for whatever reason in any part of the country at any time and their family NOT try to turn it into a payday?? ..... I guess they figure the police investigation is a cover-up and the entire department is simply racist ...... go figure.

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2 replies
refichter AMedicGary July 29 2014 at 3:09 PM

Well, 400 years of history DOES rather tend to back them up on that assumption. Fact is, of course, the news doesn't bother to report about the thousands who don't sue...whole towns that were wiped out by racists, in fact, and 4 little girls killed in a church bombing, and COUNTLESS others tortured, lynched, "mysteriously" just happening to die in police custody. But, oh well, yes, they are all just looking for a paycheck. After all, they don't cherish their loved ones like White people do. They HOPE their kids get killed so they can sue. Sheesh. Racism really is a silly crock, isn't it?

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I love Snickers AMedicGary July 29 2014 at 3:55 PM

Hate say it but many in the black community are quick to whine, sue, and pull the race card, and they sure don't help themselves or their community when they do it. BUT that is not to say that there aren't times when they may have a point or have questions that need to be answered. Black, white, or green, there just seems to be things about this whole case that don't make sense. It needs to be investigated thoroughly, separate from the boy's skin color.

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d1anaw July 29 2014 at 3:44 PM

How in the hell does someone "die in a freak accident, having fallen into the mat and gotten stuck upside down."? Not buying it at all. They just don't want to pursue it.

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flysalot2 July 29 2014 at 3:47 PM

Sounds like a prank gone wrong.

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pftaylor July 29 2014 at 3:26 PM

It was prob. his idea of fun that went wrong. Not funny now though.

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cyrakadin1 July 30 2014 at 12:12 AM

I've read some of the comments here and don't agree with quite a few of them. Black or White, their son died under very UNCLEAR cicumstances. His race has nothing to do with it. I am white and I find this case to be full of more holes than swiss cheese. Someone needs to get off their butt and give this mom and dad the answers they have been begging for for well over a year now. They have a right to know what happened to their son.

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mikesralnc July 29 2014 at 8:07 PM

Clearly, many people commenting haven't been following this story for the last year and a half. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that this kid was murdered. A civil suit is the only way these parents can get the truth to come out. For you racists, why not ask why the parents waited 1 1/2 years to file suit. If they just wanted a paycheck they could have sued a year ago.

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marshalekc July 29 2014 at 11:53 PM

LET ME TELL YOU!!! SOMEONE AT THAT SCHOOL KNEW SOMETHING!!! I live in the Northeastern part of the United States and in an area that seems if something happen...everyone is covering their behinds! I am a white woman, a conservative Republican, and soon to be 59 years young. Wait a minute...I guess that happens ALL over the country. ALWAYS dot your "T's" and cross your "I's" and write everything down. I live just outside of our Nation's Capitol.

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goodgrief61945 July 29 2014 at 11:51 PM

" fallen into the mat and gotten stuck upside down". That would be a lot more than a "freak accident". Pretty much impossible.

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gotigersthomas July 29 2014 at 8:28 PM

Only in American no black person death can be accidental death. If it turns out to be murder then family should win a case against Georgia school systems.

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1 reply
d1anaw gotigersthomas July 29 2014 at 8:58 PM

Seriously? Because the circumstances described here actually make sense?

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