School Board to Discuss Releasing Report on Bigfork Player’s Death

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA (AP) – The Bigfork school board is scheduled to meet Monday to discuss releasing a report on the collapse of a football player who died a week later.

Attorney Charles E. McNeil of Missoula, who is representing the school district, said the board also would consider a request from Jeffrey Bowman’s parents to see the document before it is made public.

The names of all students who were interviewed will be redacted before anything is released, McNeil said.

On Tuesday, Bob and Troy Bowman issued a statement through their attorney, Dan Caplis of Denver, asking to see the report before it is made public. A similar board meeting on Oct. 8 was canceled after the Bowmans objected that they had not been notified of the meeting, and that the report might be made public before they had seen it.

Bowman, 17, collapsed during an evening football practice on Aug. 13 and died on Aug. 20 at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

According to school officials, Bowman had not turned in required paperwork indicating a physician had cleared him to play football.

There also were reportedly differing accounts from the many witnesses at the football field that day as to how long it took members of the coaching staff to respond to the player after he collapsed, and to begin administering CPR.

Missoula attorney Elizabeth Kaleva was hired by the school district to investigate the death. It is her report the board will consider releasing Monday.

Related: Bowman family statement in its entirety