INDIANAPOLIS — FFA officials would not comment Friday about the organization’s policies regarding member supervision following a 16-year-old’s fall at Circle Centre Mall.
Phillip Caler, 16, of Booker, Texas, was sitting on a handrail on the third story on the west end of the downtown mall near Carson Pirie Scott Thursday when he slipped and fell, hitting the second-floor railing before landing face-down on the lower level, said Sgt. Paul Thompson.
FFA officials called a press conference Friday evening to update Caler’s condition, reporting that doctors at Methodist Hospital said he was still critical, but showing signs of improvement, 6News’ Sarah Cornell reported.
But FFA Chief Operating Officer Dwight Armstrong would not answer questions pertaining to the organization’s policies concerning member supervision during its annual national convention.
Armstrong said he did not know if Caler’s adult adviser, Scott Miller, was with the boy when he fell. He also said he could not answer what responsibilities advisers have when FFA members are in sessions, or how many members advisers are responsible for overseeing.
“Those are questions that I’m not in a position to answer. Are there any other meaningful questions?” he asked reporters.
Armstrong would confirm that Caler’s FFA chapter is one of the smallest in the organization.
Grayer Sherill, a FFA member from a different chapter, said he has 250 kids in his group who check in with three adults a couple of times a day.
“We check in at night. We have to tell them where we are before we leave. They have to know where we’re at all times,” he said.
Armstrong said the FFA will look at making potential changes to its conferences, but that it is something they do after each event.
A Facebook group was set up for people to send thoughts to the Caler family.