Police: Student injury deemed accidental

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A Monday incident that left a Dr. Howard Elementary student injured has been deemed accidental by police.

In a statement issued Friday, police spokesperson Tom Yelich said police had spent the past week interviewing the injured student, as well as other students involved in what Unit 4 officials called a “play fight” among six girls in a school bathroom.

Yelich said in the statement that video footage and other available evidence had also been reviewed by police.

“…the investigation has determined the student’s injury was accidental and the result of her colliding with a locking device on a bathroom stall door,” police said in the statement. “No other student was involved in the accident.”

Yelich noted in the statement that reports of the incident — which left one student with an 8.5-centimeter wide laceration in her abdomen and sent her to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana — had initially been reported to police as an accident.

Police said there was no evidence of a weapon, bullying, “criminal intent, or a student being held against her will.”

Brittany Shankles, the student’s mother, sent WCIA a statement.

“I never wanted this to be a criminal investigation. I wanted to know as to why all the children were able to be in the restroom play fighting when a teacher is outside of the restroom. Any of the girls could have gotten hurt. I reacted how any parent would have reacted to this situation. I want answers. This could have ended worse than it did. If it would have ended worse and she did happen to die who would take the fall for it?? An accidental fall and cut from the lock?? I think not. I am glad the girls can return to school and go about their normal lives but someone has to still be held responsible for this incident. It all comes down to the school staff not doing their jobs. ”

Brittany Shankles, victim’s monther

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