How Do You Spell Teen Spirit? T-B-I

A school district has agreed to pay $10.5 million after a student suffered a TBI while wearing a chicken costume at a high school pep rally, according to The Indiana Gazette. The former Kern County High School student wore the chicken costume at a pep rally for the football team in an attempt to make fun of an opposing team’s mascot. While in the costume, the student was mobbed by members of the football team. The football players dogpiled on top of the student, inflicting him with abrain injury in the process.

What Is It Like Living with a Brain Injury?

For many brain injury victims, their lives are never the same following the injury. In some cases, victims of concussions and other forms of TBI cannot continue to work in their chosen professionand can only live on their own with the help of a caregiver. In addition, a brain injury can wreak havoc with a person’s emotions, memory and personality. A brain injury can make it so that something that you used to consider simple, such as making a grocery list, becomes a source of great stress and anxiety. Other problems TBI victims may face include:

  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Memory loss and difficulty concentrating
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision
  • Extreme mood swings, including depression and combative behavior
  • Changes to sense of taste and smell
  • Hearing problems, including ringing in the ears
  • Problems sleeping
  • Dizziness and loss of coordination
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Slurred speech
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

How Has TBI Changed the Life of the Student?

The incident at the pep rally took place in 2010, and in the years since, the young man, who is now 24, has struggled greatly due to the TBI he suffered. During the dogpile that left him with the TBI, the young man was piled on by football players who were 200 to 300 pounds each. He was reportedly punched, had his head slammed against the floor and was kicked while at the bottom of the dogpile. Following the incident, he spent six months recovering in a brain injury treatment center. A former honor roll student, he has had trouble with keeping up in college, including poor grades. The young man also suffers from memory loss, depression and anxiety.

According to the report in The Indiana Gazette, school officials had actually encouraged students to mock fight at the pep rally. Then, once things got out of hand, the school officials did not act quickly to break up the mob/dogpile. Hopefully, the $10.5 million settlement will help this young man afford the TBI treatment he needs. In addition, let’s hope that this school district has learned its lesson and does not allow students to suffer such injuries in the future.

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