Maury County mom sues school board over teen’s death


A Maury Co. mom has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Maury County Board of Education, alleging the supervision of her child at MPHS, was negligent.
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 8:09 PM CST
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MOUNT PLEASANT, Tn. (WSMV) - A Maury County mother has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Maury County Board of Education, alleging the supervision of her child at Mount Pleasant High School, was negligent.

Josiah Fisher died after a crash, test-driving a homemade motorbike on the school’s campus in January.

The lawsuit, filed by Josiah’s mother, Renee Hawkins, alleges three senior-level staff members witnessed the bike being driven without a helmet and without supervision and allowed the activity to continue. The bike, the complaint alleges, had been built by another student and was test-driven during class at least seven separate times by one of Josiah’s classmates.

Josiah, who had autism, would have turned 18 on Tuesday.

“I do it in honor of him,” Hawkins said. “It made me realize just how much more these children need parents to speak out.”

Hawkins is hoping the lawsuit will bring awareness to how students with learning disabilities have been treated by the school board and its employees.

Shannon Wiggins, filing attorney at Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers, stated in a press release, “As the daughter of a retired school teacher, I know first-hand how a dedicated school system can positively impact children and the community. Unfortunately, as the attorney for Josiah’s family, I have now seen first-hand the devastation that is caused when that commitment is missing. Holding those at the top accountable is the way to create real change in a broken system.”

Hawkins’s plea is that her son’s memory is never forgotten and that the wrongful death suit brings change to issues and policies for children like her son.

“I pray that every day. I pray that no other families go through this. Losing a child is some of the worst pain, it is the worst pain,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins had hoped to hold a memorial balloon release Tuesday night for Josiah, weather permitting.

When reached for comment, a representative for the Maury County Board of Education declined to comment on the lawsuit.