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Minneapolis district pays $500,000 to family of student shot to death in 2022 after leaving school

Jan. 11, 2023
DeShaun Hill, 15, was a sophomore and quarterback of the football team at North Community High School.

The Minneapolis school board has agreed to pay $500,000 to the family of a 15-year-old student who was fatally shot last year while walking home from school.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the settlement will go to the family of Deshaun Hill, a sophomore and quarterback on the football team at North Community High School.

He was fatally shot in February 2022 near a bus stop. Deshaun’s family said he usually did not take the bus home from school, but some students from North were allowed to leave school that day so they could attend a protest at City Hall. The school principal permitted the students to leave school even though it was against district protocol.

"If it weren't for [the principal's] decision to override the district, we believe that D. Hill Jr. would be alive today," said William Walker, an attorney for the Hill family.

Families of North students should have been notified if their student left school that day, the lawyer asserted.

The Minneapolis district said in a prepared statement that it agreed to the settlement despite its stance that it was not liable in the shooting death.

"The family of Deshaun Hill, Jr. asserted claims against Minneapolis Public Schools arising out of his tragic death," the district said. "While the school district denied all liability, it reached a settlement with the family. The senseless murder of Deshaun Hill will always be the ultimate tragedy. We hold his family and close friends in our hearts and always will."

A couple of weeks after the shooting, Cody Fohrenkam was charged with second-degree intentional murder in Hill's death. His case is set to go to trial this month.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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