Judge Dismisses Campus Suicide Case Against Lewisville ISD
SHERMAN (CBSDFW.COM) – In a summary judgment, a federal judge has ruled in favor of the Lewisville Independent School District and dismissed a lawsuit filed by the parents of a 9-year-old boy who committed suicide on campus.
Montana Lance was a student at Stewart’s Creek Elementary School in The Colony when he took his life in January of 2010. The 4th grader locked the door to the school nurse’s bathroom and then hanged himself with a belt. His parents, Jason and Deborah Lance, said it was relentless bullying pushed their son to the edge.
Montana had been bullied for having a speech impediment.
After the lawsuit was dismissed attorney Martin Cirkiel, who represents Montana’s father, said the legal decision was incorrect.
“We believe the judge did not analyze the facts with the appropriate case law and because he did not do that he came up with the wrong result.”
Cirkiel explained that there were several reasons why the judge dismissed the suit and that he doesn’t agree with them.
“The one that was really troublesome to us was the one related to the child status as one with a disability issue, with special education services,” he said. “There, there’s a particular area of the law that protects children that are bullied or harassed at school.”
While this case has been dismissed Cirkiel said Lance family’s battle for justice will continue.
“There’s never any joy when one has a lawsuit that is thrown out of court. Though as an attorney representing and practicing civil rights law we once again understand that sometimes you have to lose before you can win.”
An appeal is expected.
The judge’s ruling comes just days after Deborah Lance unexpectedly died.
On September 8 Deborah Lance was rushed to Presbyterian Hospital in Plano.
“She was having chest pains,” Jason Lance recalled. “It was like a light switch. She just was talking and then stopped.”
Through the years Deborah had several heart surgeries and suffered from Marfan syndrome, which is a genetic disorder affecting connective tissue.
Deborah Lance never returned from the hospital, she died there from an aneurysm.
Her death came just days after the couple appeared on CBS 11 News during an anti-bullying campaign.