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Former MMA student who attempted suicide sues school; claims regular assaults, beatings took place and school did nothing

MEXICO, Mo. (KMIZ)

A former Missouri Military Academy student has filed a lawsuit against the school Monday after he claims the school didn't do enough to stop routine attacks by others at the school.

The lawsuit refers to beatings, attacks and group fights that took place over three school years – 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21.

The lawsuit stated that on Jan. 29, 2021, due to the continuous abuse, the student attempted suicide so he didn't have to return to the school. The student was hospitalized as a result of the attempt. He allegedly told hospital staff that he would rather die than return to school.

The former student says the school knew about the attacks but failed to act.

ABC17 News reached out to Missouri Military Academy on Tuesday. The school has not yet responded.

The former student’s attorney, Grant Boyd of the O’Brien Law Firm in St. Louis, sent an email to ABC17.

“Our client’s allegations in the Petition say all that needs to be said at this time,” he wrote in the email. “We look forward to fighting on his behalf.”

Within weeks of starting his first year at Missouri Military Academy, the student alleges he was physically assaulted numerous times. During one incident, the student claims he was in the bathroom when someone turned off the lights and several people assaulted him and broke his glasses.

The student allegedly reported the conduct, including the identity of one of the alleged attackers. The lawsuit claims nothing was done about it.

The identified attacker then allegedly assaulted the student again. The lawsuit claims the school decided to make the two roommates, which the lawsuit claims more assaults took place, routinely. The petition claims MMA employees watched some of the attacks and failed to intervene.

The petition states that on the last day of the 2018-19 school year, “commanders,” “platoon sergeants” and a “platoon leader” oversaw and arranged the yearly “purge.”

The lawsuit claims the “purge” is a yearly tradition at the school in which older students beat and assault younger students. The student was one of the people attacked. Alleged attackers included “commanders,” “platoon sergeants,” “platoon leader” and/or “executive officer.” The lawsuit did not say if the people with those titles were students or staff.

On the first day of the 2019-20, the former student was allegedly choked by another student to the point of being unconscious. The lawsuit also claims that the former student was assaulted on his birthday, and that “beatings” took place weekly.

It also says, “On a nearly weekly basis during the 2019-20 academic year, Defendant’s “commanders’, executive officer’, ‘first sergeant’, and/other employee(s)/agent(s), which oversaw Plaintiff, physically assaulted Plaintiff.”

The former student was also allegedly forced to fight his best friend by the “company commander.” If students resisted fighting, they were allegedly beat by “commanders.”

The lawsuit claims the former student was again a victim in the “purge” tradition during that school year. It claims there was a video recording involving the former student.

During the 2020-21 school year, the lawsuit claims the former student was again the subject to regular assaults, including on his birthday again, where one of the alleged attackers hid in the student’s room before initiating a group assault.

It also claims during that year, one student in particular was knowingly violent with other students by beating and choking them. The lawsuit claims a number of instances were shared on social media.

The lawsuit claims that student began targeting the plaintiff and the school did nothing to stop it.

The petition claims the school failed to: Maintain safe premises, protect the former student from a known dangerous third party and supervise its employees, agents and officers.

 The document claims the former student suffered damages including, physical injury, pain and suffering and emotional distress. The plaintiff is asking for a judgment in excess of $25,000.

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Ryan Shiner

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