Father of assaulted Palestine student says 'district is at fault'

Father of assaulted Palestine student says 'district is at fault'
James Stanczak. (Source: KLTV News Staff)
James Stanczak. (Source: KLTV News Staff)
Le'George Gray, facing charges for assaulting Stanczak. (Souce: Clarence Gray)
Le'George Gray, facing charges for assaulting Stanczak. (Souce: Clarence Gray)

James Stanczak is describing what he calls the beginning of his family's nightmare.

"She said 'your son's jaw's broken, we need you to get here immediately,'” says Stanczak. “My wife said 'call 911 I want the police there when I arrive, get my son help.'"

According to an incident report, on September 27, Stanczak's son Michael was punched in the face multiple times by teammate Le'George Gray in a Palestine high school locker room.

“When I got there my son was sitting alone crying, the coach was in the trainer's room laying on a cot and said nothing to me,” says Stanczak. “You could see blood gushing out of my son’s mouth, you could see the bone sticking out of his gums."

It wasn't until Michael got to the hospital that a call to Palestine police was made by hospital staff. The following day, Gray was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. Stanczak says Michael was released from the hospital on Sunday, but is still in mental and physical pain, having to receive around the clock care.

"He's had two surgeries to reconstruct his jaw, his nose, and his face, and he has two surgeries pending,” says Stanczak. “He has had PTSD symptoms, where he’s waking up jumping and shaking. His dream of playing football has been taken away. I don’t know what hurts him more.”

Gray's family say's Le'George is hurting because of what he did to his friend. Gray has since made bond and is attending an alternative school.

“Right now we’re just relying on prayer, and the help of others to help us get through this,” says Clarence Gray, Le'George's father.

Both the Stanczak family and Gray family say the two were like brothers and the love for one another is still there, but Michael's father says although they have forgiven, they will never forget.

"Accountability-wise, LG Gray has a lot of fault and blame because he did follow through with hurting my son and almost killing him,” says Stanczak. “But, the administration and the school district is building a culture of bullying."

Stanczak says he spoke to the district about his son being bullied before the assault, but nothing was done. He says other teammates instigated the fight between Stanczak and Gray as a form of bullying, and even now, the bullying has continued online.

“He’s broken; that’s the toughest part,” says Stanczak. "I think the administration is 100 percent at fault for not just what happened to my son, but for other kids."

Palestine ISD declined to comment due to the ongoing investigation.

James Stanczak says because of what his son has experienced, and the lack of responsibility taken by the district,  he's not sure if his family will return to Palestine. 

GoFundMe page has been set up to help with medical expenses, especially as his parents are missing work to care for their son.

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