Mother upset after school refuses to pay for child injured at school

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

wfaa.com

Posted on May 17, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 19 at 2:15 PM

BLUE RIDGE –– Twice a day, Taylor Neel unwraps her left hand to clean the wound.

"[I use] water, a little bit of soap and hydrogen peroxide," the 13-year-old said.

"Pus was oozing out of it," said Christi Mulligan, mother. "It was disgusting."

The nasty blister came from the hot track at Blue Ridge Middle School.

"My hands were burning really bad," Neel added.

It happened on Monday when students had just wrapped up a relay race on the school's track. For an impromptu tie breaker, the gym coach had students get down on the track on their hands and knees and crawl across the track.

It was 90-degrees and the asphalt surface was hot, Mulligan said.

The district says once students started complaining the coach stopped the activity immediately. Still, three students complained and Taylor had two pieces of the track stuck into her palm.

One got infected and blistered overnight.

But Mulligan said what upsets her most is that Blue Ridge ISD says it will not pay for her daughter's medical bills.

"I should not be responsible for a bill over $1,000 due to a bad decision a teacher made," Mulligan explained.

"We're making every attempt to do the right thing," said Todd Lintzen, Blue Ridge ISD Superintendent.

State law forbids him from spending tax dollars on a student's medical costs, Lintzen explained.

"We never want a child to be hurt but there are perimeters I have to work within regarding reimbursement and use of public funds," the superintendent added.

Instead, Lintzen said he filed a claim for Taylor with the district's insurance to help reimburse the family's expenses.

Intent or not, Taylor's mom says Blue Ridge is responsible for not using better judgment.

E-mail: jwhitely@wfaa.com

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