Ongoing Series { A closer look into public expenditures

It’s Your Money: Student Trips, State Pays $30K

Flickr: Girls Hurdle

Editor's Note: This is another installment in our occasional series, It's Your Money, that looks more closely at public expenses that taxpayers may not realize they're being asked to pay.

An overweight 12-year-old tripped while attempting to jump over a hurdle during her physical education class at Moanalua Middle School in August 2008. She ended up fracturing her knee and needing surgery. Now, taxpayers are expected to pay $30,000 towards her medical bills.

The student’s mother, Carlota Basa, sued the state in 2010, saying that the P.E. teacher, Kui Ramos, didn't adequately supervise or give enough instruction to her daughter. Basa’s daughter said she was told to “run the hurdles” without any precautions or “practice rounds,” according to the lawsuit.

Despite the lack of practice, the student cleared the first hurdle — which were made of plastic cones and piping and stood about 18 inches tall — but she tripped and fell as she tried to jump over a second hurdle.

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