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Student stabbed in band class sues school district

SPANAWAY — The events of May 12, 2010, still haunt Lukas Thompson. He was a senior in high school, playing trumpet in band class when Joshua Shirley, a drummer he barely knew, whipped out a butcher knife.

GEORGETHOMPSON4“The biggest thing I remember is getting hit in the back of the head and then I looked down and there was blood all over my hands. I went into shock and fell on the ground and one of the kids in my class took off his sweater and started doing first aid,” said Thompson.

Lukas was rushed to the hospital with multiple stab wounds to his head, neck and arms.  He was an innocent target of a student who snapped.

“I know he was bullied pretty bad by other kids. One of my close friends at the time had told me that he had told her that he felt like stabbing somebody,” said Thompson.

Joshua Shirley is now serving a nine-year prison sentence. Lukas Thompson is suing the Bethel School District.

“When students are bullied and it’s unchecked, it manifests itself in one of two ways. The victim of the bullying suffers all the injury and it ends there, or they act out,” said Thompson’s attorney, Eric Krening.

Krening says by not taking specific action to deal with the bullying and behavioral history of Joshua Shirley, the district failed to maintain a safe school environment.

Before the attack, Lukas was a star athlete, running track and cross country and with dreams of going to college and serving our country.

“Before I got stabbed, I wanted to join the Air Force, become a cop and now it’s hard for me to go to school and feel safe,” said Thompson.

A spokesperson for the Bethel School District says they cannot comment on pending litigation but take bullying very seriously and feel they have a strong program in place to prevent it.

6 comments

  • KTL

    This is the schools fault?? Granted it isn't his either..but this lawsuit is unfounded. If he makes money more than his med bills he's just looking for $$

    • Lynn

      KTL, since the stabbing happened on school property, it's law that the school system faces the litigation. But he can also sue the kid's family that stabbed him in civil court AND any teacher or administration person that knew about this other kid being bullied and refusing to act to put a stop to it. He is not suing the physical building. He is suing the town or county Department of Education that the school is in that holds responsibility for what happens on school grounds. Many times a school administration will not stand up to bullying until they get hit hard in the budget.

    • jazmine

      first of all he is my cousin and he is not looking for money he just wants the school to relies that kids are being bullied and I am one of them. the school has not done anything to stop kids bulling others so think twice

  • CLL

    Good call KTL. I agree. I'm surprised he is not suing the students who bullied him as well as the students who knew he was being bullied.

  • anonymous

    I am a parent of 6 grader & my kid was a bully & suspended 3 times in 2 wks.I took care of it she’s dne 180 in 2 mnths but now her old group has threatened her many times at school & fb school did notta its been wk I wnt allow her there.I’m goin after dist they say u kids are safe but they dnt do anything about threats till it happens & it ain’t right

  • John

    If he wanted his bills paid and a little extra for pain and suffering that's fine, but sue the attacker. The only reason to sue the school district is because they have more money. I don't feel the school was negligent, and hope they don't have to pay. He just wants money.

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