Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Parents sue over fight at Freedom High School

TAMPA — Freedom High School should have protected student Cody Johnson against a fellow student who argued with him over some dropped papers.

Instead, the fellow student punched Johnson in the face, according to a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court.

The suit, filed by Johnson and his parents against the Hillsborough County School District, asks for unspecified damages, including payment of Johnson's medical bills.

The district does not comment on pending lawsuits, said spokesman Stephen Hegarty.

According to the Jan. 28 complaint, Johnson, a linebacker on the football team, was watching a movie in class on Jan. 31, 2013, when the incident happened. Two teachers were in the room, but they may have been working on their computers.

At one point, the other student asked Johnson to pick up some papers Johnson had knocked over. He also asked one of the teachers to have Johnson pick up the papers.

Then, according to the suit, the other student got out of his seat, sneaked up on Johnson and punched him. Johnson was treated at a hospital for facial fractures and needed a metal implant. While still on the football team, he missed practices and spring games and must wear a special face guard when playing. The suit contends the incident hurt his chances for a scholarship, that Johnson does not feel safe at Freedom and that his parents have lost sleep worrying about him.

The Tampa Bay Times is not naming the other student because he is likely a minor.

He has had a history of disciplinary issues, had been suspended about a day earlier and should not have been at school, according to the suit, which alleges the administration did not notify the teachers about the suspension.

Marlene Sokol can be reached at (813) 226-3356 or sokol@tampabay.com.

Parents sue over fight at Freedom High School 02/03/14 [Last modified: Monday, February 3, 2014 11:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Travel ban, Kennedy retirement speculation the focus as Supreme Court prepares for break

    Courts

    WASHINGTON — Before taking their long summer break, the Supreme Court justices are poised to act on the Trump administration's travel ban and a separation of church and state dispute involving a Missouri church playground.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy, shown in 2007, has given no public sign that he would step down this year and give President Donald Trump his second high court pick in the first months of his administration. Kennedy's departure would allow conservatives to take firm control of the court. [Associated Press]
  2. Florida education news: Guns, charter schools, drug education and more

    Blogs

    HOSTILE WORK PLACE: A legal review determines that while a University of South Florida technology center former director might have been boorish and hostile, …

  3. Fire crews battle blaze at apartment complex near Seminole Heights

    Fire

    Fire crews are battling a blaze that broke out early Monday morning at an apartment complex near Seminole Heights, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.

  4. PolitiFact Florida: Claim that 5.7 million noncitizens voted is wrong

    State Roundup

    President Donald Trump's unfounded allegations that millions voted illegally in 2016 is back in the news, with his supporters pointing to a new analysis that claims millions of undocumented immigrants voted in 2008.

    Instances of noncitizens voting have been reported, but evidence points to a small number among millions of votes cast.  
  5. For Fourth of July, an American feast inspired by founding father Alexander Hamilton

    Cooking

    Are there a million things you haven't done? Is one of them throwing a patriotic party inspired by one of the founding fathers?

    Caribbean Pork With Potato Salad makes for the perfect Fourth of July meal.