Teen Girl Whose Head Was Smashed into Concrete in Brutal Fight With Schoolmate ‘Is Walking Again’, as Hearing Looms For Attacker

Kaylee must wear a helmet any time she gets out of bed since she is still missing a piece of her skull.

Kaylee Gain, age 16, is walking again after she underwent a brutal beating near her St. Louis high school at the hands of a schoolmate, Maurnice DeClue. Facebook

Kaylee Gain, 16, and Maurnice DeClue, 15, chose violence when a dispute arose between the two teens. Now, one is recovering from serious injuries and another awaits a life-changing trial.

The vicious fight came a day after another fight, between Kaylee and Maurnice’s friend, broke out at Hazelwood East High School in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 7. It was broken up by a school security official before any serious injuries occurred, but Kaylee was suspended. 

A day later, Kaylee and Maurnice met up a few blocks from school. That’s when the viral video of the fight was taken showing Maurnice bashing Kaylee’s head into the pavement multiple times before Kaylee was left convulsing on the ground. The fight was reportedly the culmination of tension between the girls’ rival friend groups, and heated text exchanges between Kaylee and Maurnice showed that the two teens “both agreed to the fight,” according to Kaylee’s father.

Following the fight, Kaylee was taken to a nearby hospital where she arrived in critical condition with injuries including a fractured skull and brain bleeding. Thankfully, however, recent messages from two GoFundMes – both set up to help Kaylee and her family – have shared some promising health updates.

Maurnice DeClue, 15, repeatedly slams the head of Kaylee Gain, 16, after the two St. Louis teens agreed to settle their differences in an after school fight. YouTube

“[Kaylee] is making huge strides in physical therapy and has done extremely well on the physical side of things,” an update from Kaylee’s mother, April. read on one GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $400,000. “She walks without assistance now but we do have to walk right beside her, she has a belt she wears around her waist that we hold on too because her balance and equilibrium gets thrown off pretty easily. She gets dizzy spells often so we do have to be right there with her just in case she were to lose her balance.”

Kaylee’s mom also shared that her daughter now has to “wear a helmet anytime she is out of her bed” because she doesn’t have a section of her skull since it was removed, “so that her brain could have the space needed to swell and heal from her injuries.” 

Eventually, doctors will return her left bone flap to her skull, but April is unsure of when that might be. Before she has that surgery, Kaylee needs to be completely healed from her previous surgery and in a good place mentally. 

Kaylee, who received a traumatic brain injury in the beating, is showing cognitive improvements, as well, but “still gets stuck on repetitive loops” in conversation and struggles with her short term memory. 

Kaylee’s head was pounded repeatedly into the concrete by Maurnice Declue, 15, who has been charged with assault. YouTube

“We remain hopeful that she will get through this but she does have a long road ahead of her,” April wrote. “We can just be thankful for the accomplishments she has already made and continue to pray for more accomplishments to come.”

In an update from Kaylee’s father and stepmother on a separate GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $48,000, Clinton Gain shared that the family was “truly amazed by the progress she has made in such a short time.”

“Cognitively Kaylee has greatly improved since first waking up from her coma however there is still a lot of work she will need to do in order to get fully back to herself prior to the incident,” Clinton shared. “Kaylee will continue to have PT/OT therapy as well speech and counseling to help her through this traumatic experience.”

It’s good to hear Kaylee is starting to recover, but there are many aspects of this incident that have yet to be resolved. For one, Kaylee’s family has made it clear they want Maurnice to be tried as an adult due to “the particularly violent nature of this assault” and “the devastating injuries that Kaylee has incurred.” The family also has Missouri’s senior senator, Josh Hawley, and Missouri’s attorney general, Andrew Bailey, in their corner, pushing for Maurnice to face more serious charges.

Parents told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that safety has been a problem at Hazelwood East High School. Hazelwood School District

Mr. Bailey has even opened an investigation into what he calls Hazelwood East High School’s  “radical” Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policies because he says they played a role in creating an environment that led to the fight. Mr. Bailey claims that police officers who were supposed to provide security at the school walked away after they were ordered to undergo diversity training they considered offensive. A lawyer for the school district, Cindy Ormsby, on the other hand, has called out Mr. Bailey’s “obvious racial bias against majority minority school districts.” It’s worth noting that the high school, according to U.S. News & World Report, is 99 percent black and has an economically disadvantaged student percentage of 69 percent. 

It’s unclear what will come of the investigation, but a hearing next month will determine whether Maurnice will be tried as an adult for the assault. Leading up to the hearing, Maurnice’s parents have claimed that their daughter “was not the aggressor” and “blacked out” during the fight. They’ve also argued against what they call “misconceptions surrounding Maurnice’s character” by explaining that she is an honor roll student who played violin in the school orchestra, competed on the volleyball team and speaks four languages.

In response to all that has come out about Maurnice, Kaylee’s stepmother, Jamie Gain, said she just wants the court to acknowledge the severity of Maurnice’s actions. 

“We hope the justice system sees that [Maurnice] went way overboard and nearly killed her,” Ms. Gain said of Maurnice throwing Kaylee’s head against the pavement. “And that it doesn’t matter who said what to who before it all happened.”

The New York Sun

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