Family Sues School Over Son's Hanging Death

"No effort was made" to find 10-year-old boy who hanged himself in a school bathroom

The family of a fifth-grader found hanging in a restroom of his north suburban elementary school a year ago filed a wrongful death lawsuit Friday against the school district.

Angel Marshall, mother of 10-year-old Aquan Lewis, has accused Evanston Skokie School District 65 of not taking responsibility for her son’s safety and well-being during school hours, according to a release from Power Rodgers & Smith, the law firm representing the family.

Lewis was found hanging from a hook on the inside of toilet stall door on Feb. 3, 2009, at Oakton Elementary School in Evanston.

Paramedics resuscitated Aquan, who was then taken to St. Francis Hospital across the street from the school. He was later transferred to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, where he was pronounced dead on Feb. 4, 2009.

An autopsy by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office determined Aquan died of hanging and ruled his death a suicide.

The lawsuit alleges that “no effort was made to locate” Aquan after he went missing as students were lining up to go to gym class about 2:30 p.m. He was found about 30 minutes later by a student.

" To say the least, the family has been quite disappointed that the investigation failed to go as far as one could reasonably think it should have,” attorney Todd A. Smith told the Sun-Times Friday.

“As he left home that day, [his mother] had every reason to believe that he would come home again,” Smith said.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
Contact Us