On Monday, the mother of Manuel “Manny” Guzman, the 14-year-old boy who lost his life in a stabbing incident at Northeast Middle School in April 2022, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Kansas City Public Schools. The lawsuit seeks justice for the untimely death of Manny, who was a victim of the tragic incident.
According to the lawsuit, both KCPS and Northeast Middle School hold responsibility for Manny’s education and safety under Missouri law. It further claims that KCPS was aware of a student who had threatened to stab Manny while he was attending the middle school.
In response to the recent lawsuit filed against our school district, we want to clarify that we are currently unable to provide specific comments or discuss the details of the ongoing litigation. We acknowledge the situation and will continue to work towards resolving it. This was stated in a press release issued to KSHB 41 on Wednesday morning.
On April 12, he was rushed to Children’s Mercy Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Unfortunately, he passed away later that day.
During a past interview with KSHB 41, Vicenta Guzman expressed her concerns regarding the Northeast Middle School stabbing incident. She questioned the effectiveness of the school’s metal detectors and the security guards’ ability to detect the stabbing that took place in the bathroom. Guzman’s concerns were justified, as the tragic incident resulted in the loss of a beloved student, Manny.
According to the lawsuit, KCPS has been well aware of the importance of functional and effective metal detectors in the school. However, the employees have allegedly ignored the issue for years, despite receiving numerous complaints about the malfunctioning detectors. The lawsuit alleges that this negligence has put the safety and security of the students at risk.
The individual, who remains unnamed due to being a minor and not charged as an adult, was initially accused of first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon. However, on April 11, 2023, just one day before the one-year anniversary of Manny’s passing, they entered a guilty plea for voluntary manslaughter, which is classified as a Class B felony. As a result, the charges of armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon were dismissed. It’s worth noting that the plea was made in Jackson County Family Court. Additionally, the defendant’s identity has yet to be revealed.
When the defendant, who was only 15 years old at the time of his plea deal, had his disposition hearing on May 17, 2023, he was being held in custody at the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center. This hearing is comparable to a sentencing.
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