The Arkansas Joint Budget Committee voted against payment of a $1 million award to the family of Jonathan Nelson on March 6, 2013. Nine-year old Nelson was killed in 2011 when a soccer goal fell on him during recess. The Department of Finance opposed the award because they felt it was not in the taxpayers’ best interest. Arkansas Matters reports that the committee did not get the 29 votes needed to approve the award.
The $1 million claim will once again get sent back to the Joint Claims Committee. This will be the third time the committee will hear this claim. The Joint Claims Committee has already decided that the Department of Human Services (DHS) was negligent in this situation.
Jonathan Nelson’s death
Nine-year old Jonathan Nelson was killed by a handmade soccer goal that was not properly anchored. The goal did not meet safety standards. In 2011, during school recess at a Bentonville public school, the goal fell over onto Nelson. Jonathan Nelson’s injuries included a broken neck and crushed skull. He was taken to the hospital where he died shortly upon arrival. Nelson’s family asked the Legislative Committee to hold DHS responsible for Jonathan’s death, which they did.
A new law requiring soccer goals to be anchored was signed into law earlier this year. It is called Jonathan’s Law in memory of Jonathan Nelson.
Lynda Altman is a writer, blogger and mother of four. She feels that the safety of our children should be the first priority of every school, public or private. You can contact Lynda by clicking on the subscribe link above or on Twitter @fusgeyer. She writes a homeschool blog, Arkansas Homeschoolers.