The parents of a Casco teen who died on a school-sponsored “Senior Awareness” hiking and camping trip nearly two years ago filed a federal lawsuit Friday against MSAD 61 and two staff members.

Michael Strecker, 17, had just begun his senior year at Lake Region High School when he died on Sept. 12, 2021, at the end of a daylong hike on South Baldface Mountain in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest.

Strecker succumbed to exertional heatstroke as students and staff descended the mountain in North Chatham, New Hampshire, according to the complaint filed by his parents, Amy Tait of Casco and Christopher Strecker of Chester, Vermont.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Portland alleges that MSAD 61, Superintendent Alan Smith and humanities teacher Jessica Daggett, who was a chaperone, contributed in various ways to Strecker’s pain, suffering and death on the 11-hour hiking trip.

The lawsuit claims that students and staff weren’t properly trained, equipped or otherwise prepared for the overnight trip that had been held annually for about 20 years. It also alleges that Strecker’s pleas to turn back were ignored, his access to water was restricted and he was pushed “to keep going before he eventually vomited and lost consciousness.”

The parents are seeking a jury trial for damages on behalf of their son, plus court costs and attorneys fees, according to the suit.

Smith, Daggett and Lake Region school board chair Janice Barter had not responded Saturday night to email requests for interviews.

Staff Writer Emily Allen contributed to this report.

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