Family demands answers from school after daughter's death - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Family demands answers from school after daughter's death

CeCe Snow CeCe Snow

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

Two months after the death of 13-year-old Ridgeway Middle School student Cecilia "CeCe" Snow, family members are still trying to figure out what happened.

Monday, Attorney Randy Fishman said Snow's family remains devastated by her death.  According to her family, Snow hit her head on a metal beam between a set of double doors at Ridgeway Middle.

After the incident, Fishman said, it appeared numerous school officials were alerted.  However, family members claim Snow never received proper medical attention, and they were never notified.

Snow died in her sleep that night.

"How could this happen?" Fishman asked Monday, sharing the concern of Snow's parents. "If she was hurt and it was something serious, why wasn't anything done?  Why weren't we notified?  Why didn't somebody tell us, and we could take action?"
   
Fishman would not say if the teen told her parents about the injury.

"Those are facts that I'm not comfortable going into right now," he said.

Fishman would also not say if the girl had any pre-existing medical problems.

"I don't know if I would want to make that determination," he said. "I'm just a lawyer. I'm not a physician."

Fishman said he is analyzing school policies and procedures, including, "the appropriate policy and procedure when there's a child injured at school, who's taken a blow to the head or otherwise."

Meanwhile, SCLC president Dwight Montgomery, who has made the welfare of Memphis City School students his cause, said Monday he contacted MCS Security Chief after hearing about Snow's death.

"Certainly he expressed his concern and compassion about this," Montgomery said.

Montgomery asked Darling why Snow's family cannot view hallway surveillance video of Snow striking the metal beam

"He indicated to me those cameras have a capacity of keeping information for ten days, then it's discarded," he said.

Fishman says that video would reveal what really happened.

"If there is a tape of the incident we can all see what happened," he said. "I presume we could determine whether or not she lost consciousness at the scene.  We can perhaps determine who was there, who saw what, what was done and put it together at that point."

Two years ago, Montgomery helped a family with a similar situation at Booker T. Washington High School, when a student and faculty member had a run-in. Montgomery said he understands MCS has funding issues, but thinks student safety should come first.

"Security cameras are in various places, and what are they there for? The purpose of seeing what happened," he said.

Fishman would not say if he is filing a lawsuit at this point, but family members have said they plan to sue the school system.

Meanwhile, a Memphis City Schools spokesperson released a written statement Monday about the situation, saying, "As it relates to former student Cecilia Snow, we have been advised by legal counsel to not address questions regarding this matter, as the District has been contacted by attorneys representing the child's parents."

The spokesperson went on to rule out Snow's case in the suspensions of Ridgeway Middle's top administrators last month.

"The removal of the principal (Lisa Henry) and Assistant Principal (Antonio Ryan) is in no way related to the above mentioned situation," the spokesperson.

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