by Irvin Muchnick
As I quickly noted over the weekend on Twitter, the late Braeden Bradforth’s mother, Joanne Atkins-Ingram, and her attorney Jill Greene met Saturday with their congressional representative, Chris Smith, at his Freehold, New Jersey, district office.
Atkins-Ingram has added the Republican Smith in the U.S. Congress to her Democratic state senator, Vin Gopal, on the list of politicians pressuring Garden City Community College in Kansas to come clean about the August 1, 2018, exertional heat stroke death of the 19-year-old Bradforth following the first day of football practice under head coach Jeff Sims.
In upcoming reports, we’ll have more on these efforts, which now have expanded beyond Gopal’s initial appeal to Kansas attorney general Derek Schmidt to open his own investigation in light of the college’s refusal to release the findings of its purported internal review.
Communications director Matt Hadro gave us the following statement from Congressman Smith:
“I will do everything I can to help uncover the truth about Braeden Bradforth’s case, which may include withholding of hydration during football practice; work to require that any future on-campus deaths be thoroughly and transparently investigated; and work to put an end to the preventable, needless, tragic deaths of young athletes from exertional heat stroke.
Having met with Braeden Bradforth’s mother, Joanne Atkins-Ingram, one can’t help but feel her profound sense of loss. No parent should endure the pain of sending your son or daughter to college—with the joy of a sports scholarship and a hopeful, successful future—and then the very next day learning that your child died after football practice from what appears to have been a very preventable tragedy: heat stroke. It’s heartbreaking beyond words.
Since August 1st, the day Braeden died, Ms. Atkins-Ingram has asked for answers. Like any mother, she wants to know what happened in the last moments of her child’s life. And unfortunately, she has been collaboratively stonewalled in her efforts to gain that information.
In addition to learning the details of her son’s death on campus—which every parent should have the right to know, and every college should be obliged to provide—Ms. Atkins-Ingram’s fight now is to prevent other mothers from crying the tears she has cried, and to help ensure that other children are safe. We thank her for her selfless commitment in this time of loss and deep sorrow.”
DEATH OF BRAEDEN BRADFORTH — CHRONOLOGICAL HEADLINE LINKS