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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
A mother of a Toledo Public Schools eighth-grader has filed a lawsuit, after she says teachers ignored pleas for help on a class trip 500 miles from home, resulting in the hospitalization of her daughter.
A lawsuit was filed Monday and assigned to Judge Gary Cook in the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas on behalf of a mother alleging that TPS and the Beverly Elementary teachers chaperoning her daughter's spring 2013 school trip to Washington D.C. failed to properly attend to the child's medical needs, causing her to become dangerously dehydrated and require significant hospitalization.
Despite Sarah Kroggel giving express, written authorization to TPS and the Beverly teachers to provide medical treatment for her 14-year-old daughter on her behalf, she says those in charge refused to get the girl the medical attention she desperately needed. Kroggel said she was upset when teachers did not inform her of what happened, which led to the lawsuit against TPS and three teachers.
When Kroggel went to pick up her daughter at the end of the trip, she was shocked at her condition. She says the girl was 13 pounds lighter, plus looked gaunt, ashen and could hardly stand on her own two feet. Kroggel says when they went to the emergency room, it was quickly determined the girl would need to be hospitalized for a week.
"You would think, from a common sense perspective, that if the child is sick, you would either, first, seek medical attention and use the medical authorization, or at the very least, you would contact the parent and ask for their advice. Neither was done in this situation," explained attorney Charles Boyk.
Kroggel claims that while in Washington, her daughter's pleas to lie down and rest were denied by teachers. According to Kroggel, teachers were aware that the girl had been repeatedly vomiting in her hotel room, on the bus, during outings and even during a theater performance, but instead of calling her mother or taking her to a hospital, she was given a trash bag to use and told to sit next to the bathroom while on the bus.
Kroggel says her daughter's doctors said had she received the proper medical attention immediately following the onset of her symptoms, she would not have become so dangerously dehydrated, needing to be admitted to the hospital for a week. Doctors treated the student for extreme dehydration, gastritis and nausea.
Boyk is urging all parents to communicate with their children's schools to make sure this does not happen to someone else.
"The purpose of the lawsuit is to seek fair compensation for the extremely careless conduct of TPS and the Beverly teachers in charge on the trip, that landed a young girl in the hospital," said Boyk. "Instead of being able to take away fond memories of her eighth-grade tour of D.C., Ms. Kroggel's daughter will be forced to remember that she could not trust and depend on her teachers to allow her to speak with her own mother."
Boyk says the lawsuit's purpose is also to inform parents so they will insist that their own children's schools be held accountable for their actions, as well as establish and enforce protocol that allows for full communication between parents, teachers and the administration, in and out of the classroom.
"Teachers must be properly trained to err on the side of caution when caring for children and provide full disclosure to parents at all times, which was clearly not the case in this situation," Boyk said.
In response, a TPS spokesperson says it's the district's policy not to comment on ongoing litigation.