Injured teen returns to school after State Fair accident


INDIANAPOLIS - A teenager severely injured in the State Fair tragedy returned to class for the first time Monday morning.

Brad Humphrey was left paralyzed in the State Fair tragedy. He was injured after the stage rigging collapsed on him before the Sugarland concert August 13.  Humphrey is an honor student and a star tennis player at Crispus Attucks.

Friends and faculty gave him a special reception when he returned Monday.

"I'm excited about it," Humphrey said.

Humphrey thinks his return to school will help him, "In a lot of different ways, just being around friends and stuff."

"It's a very good thing. We've worried about him," said Dr. Amy Vail, a Latin teacher at the high school.

Humphrey's absence tested his friends, students and staff at Crispus Attucks in ways they've never experienced, leaving them feeling empty.

"The place is really not the same without him," Vail said.

"You can tell there's been a difference, since he's not been there. Especially since our senior class is so small, everybody knows everybody and we're like family," said friend Cassidy Howard.

But when tragedy struck, his family of friends pulled together.

"My friends, they came to visit me in the hospital and stuff," Humphrey said.

Friends say he has already returned the favor.

What I take away from this is just to never give up on anything. He never gave up, even though it's been a tough road, he never gave up," Howard said.

"You've just got to keep a positive attitude. You can't give up," Humphrey said. "You have to keep going, no matter how hard it is."

Last week, his mother, Sue, was upset over comments from IPS Superintendent Dr. Eugene White.

White used the word "crippled" on public radio when referring to IPS students and what public schools face versus charter schools. Although White issued an apology, Sue Humphrey thinks he should lose his job over the comment.

"It really hurts my feelings. So when he graduates in June, do you think Dr. White is going to say 'Oh, here comes a cripple wheeling across the stage?' That's what I'll be thinking," she said.

The State Fair tragedy killed seven people and injured dozens of others.