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Solehi Student's Brain Injuries Call School Safety Into Question

Unhappy with the high school’s response to their daughter’s head injuries, Michael Flack takes his concerns to the Solehi School Board

Michael Flack appeared before the Solehi school board Monday evening with his wife, Kelly, and daughter, Adessa, to ask the board to investigate the high school’s response to his daughter’s injuries which occurred within the school.

Adessa Flack received three head injuries while in Southern Lehigh High School. One incident occurred in November 2008, while the other two occurred in March and May of this year. Adessa did not receive these injuries on a sports field, but rather within the hallways and cafeteria of the school. According to Michael Flack, rough horseplay within the school is to blame.

“Our daughter has received three brain injuries in the form of concussions,” Flack explained to the board. “She has missed 40 full days of school [as a result], and stumbles daily to keep up with her work.”

Flack felt the high school administration is complacent  for allowing an unsafe environment and minimizing the consequences of horseplay. He asked the district to “adopt a zero tolerance policy for physical contact resulting in injury.” Flack continued, “These actions are not accepted in society and should not be permitted or minimized in Southern Lehigh School District.”

Flack said in an interview that he was unhappy with the way the high school, specifically principal Christine Siegfried, handled the situation. “We were told by [Siegfried] that maybe Adessa should wear a helmet in school,” Flack said.

Flack claimed to have met with school officials several times and they "minimized" his concerns. Flack said he even arranged for a neurological expert from Good Shepherd, a rehabilitation hospital, to speak to the students and staff about the dangers of horseplay and the seriousness of concussions. “The principal said that was not necessary,” Flack said. “She didn’t take our offer.”

Flack went as far as to imply that the school condones reckless horseplay, citing an issue of the school newspaper that laid out ways to play a shoving game that resulted in one of Adessa’s concussions. “A description of the game was published in the school paper,” Flack said to the school board. “It said how to use the hand rails, how to avoid touching the floor. This was published and distributed in the school newspaper.” Flack said he had asked for a copy of the paper on two separate occasions, but had not been provided with one.

The school board claimed ignorance of the situation, but said it would investigate Flack’s claims. “This is not a matter we have public knowledge of,” said school board president Michael Eddinger. “But we obviously will follow up on this.”

Flack left the board meeting “hopeful [the school board] is going to look into it.”

At the time of this writing, school administrators could not be reached for comment.

Bicycle Pete June 01, 2011 at 09:27 AM
So you're bored and have to play games when walking from one class to another? Perhaps this is why the poor grammar and total lack of how to use punctuation is so apparent in many of these replies. The hallways are not the place for any game. Go to your next class, and leave the games for the athletic fields where they belong. High schoolers don't get recess.
anonymous June 02, 2011 at 03:26 AM
Ya some of our grammer does suck but hey we are high school students its not the end of the world. If these replies were in an essay or school project people would spend more time correcting their mistakes but here they just want to get their point across. Some kids play hot lova as a way to get rid of some stress. Some of the courses are hard and complicated. It's nice to do something simple and harmless to in a way clear one's head. Also the athletic fields or gym is no game. In gym it is another class we have to stand there and do what we are told.
Concerned Mom June 02, 2011 at 03:00 PM
An individual got hurt. It not an appropriate game to be played in school corridors. It is not tolerated in lower school. What makes you think it is a safe game to be played in high school? Teenagers are more competitive than younger children.Adolescents vary in size and strength. A young adult has not learned what his full potential is, therefore it is more dangerous in high school than grammar school. If school is stressful because the courses are too hard and complicated, young adults should have learned the simple rule kindergarteners learn "listen and do".Those students who apply this rule this rule every day, find the situation is innovative and exciting not stressful. Remember the test scores from SLHS are far lower than the elementary scores. Forget about childish games.
anonymous June 02, 2011 at 06:19 PM
I don't get your point no offense. This incident has varying sides as to the injury and how it happened. Some people say she got alittle bumped into. If that is the case the same thing could have happened if a student stumbled in the hallway into her. I mean if the kid stumbled and bumped into her without playing hot lova none of this would be a problem. It seems like kids being kids is the issue. Yes I understand high school kids are supposed to be more mature but hey everyone has their own definition of maturity.
Notbornyesterday June 02, 2011 at 06:41 PM
Concerned Mom, (and I'm one too) This is not some sort of condoned game or something that the majority of kids play. I've been in the hallways many times at breaks between classes and have never noticed any wild and crazy behavior. There are rules in place against horseplay and hurting other students. WE, the readers, do not know what punishment was meted out, and it's really none of our business. The code of conduct is signed by students and parents the first week of school and everything is spelled out. The student in question got bumped and the student that bumped her was reportedly playing hot lava. Does that really mean that this is rampant at the HS or that the administration is encouraging it?

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