THERAPY GAME: Victim Of Kidnapping Can’t Play


Dezi Hughes managed to escape from Klunder

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Dezi Hughes is one of two girls who was kidnapped by a convicted sex offender this year in Dayton.

On Tuesday she was forced to sit out a volleyball game that her family considers part of her therapy because the school doesn’t believe she dressed well enough during the day.

Since the kidnapping, Dezi has tried to focus on being a kid again. One way she does that is on the volleyball court.  But her school has a policy that requires student athletes to dress up on game days to show their school pride, and Dezi didn’t.  She wore shorts and a long sleeved shirt.  So she was sidelined.

Her mother says, considering all Dezi went through, the school should be willing to bend the rules a little.

"Every therapist that we have seen so far tells us that she needs an extracurricular activity.  Something that does not pertain to what happened.  Therapy pertains to what happened.  School pertains to what happened. They seen each other every day at school," says Dezi's mother, Jeanette Andrews.

"I mean really?  It's the one place where she doesn't have to think about it.  She just has to hit a ball and win for her team.  What's wrong with that?  Just let her do it."

But Southeast Webster-Grand Superintendent Launi Dane says rules are rules,  "I understand this is part of her therapy but I understand as she grows there will be rules that need to be maintained."

"We have a good conduct policy, I can't bend that.  There are certain expectations...there are rules for playing these sports," Dane adds.

Dezi and her friend, Kathlynn Shepard, were abducted as they walked home from school in May.

Dezi escaped from the kidnapper, but Shepard was murdered.  The kidnapper, Michael Klunder, later committed suicide.


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