Schoolhouse Beat

Bethel (Wash.) district sued over 2010 high school stabbing

A former student at Spanaway Lake High School in Spanaway, Wash., is suing the Bethel School District over a May 2010 stabbing incident. The Tacoma News-Tribune reports that the district is accused of negligence; George Lukas Thompson, 18 when the attack occurred, contends in the lawsuit that the district failed to maintain a safe school environment. Thompson spent two days in the hospital after being stabbed in the head and neck in what police called an unprovoked attack. Joshua Ray Shirley, then 18, was charged with assault in the stabbing and now is in prison. According to the lawsuit, Shirley had been subjected to bullying “for months prior to the stabbing” from other students – not Thompson – and school authorities failed to intervene. It says Shirley had talked about wanting to stab someone prior to the incident. The lawsuit says that prior to the stabbing, Thompson had a 3.4 grade point average, and was active in sports and band. But as a result of the attack, he has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems.

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