Yaghmai states, 'The purpose of this lawsuit is to not only address the harm to Payton, but to prevent other students from unjustly getting beaten in the future.'
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Birmingham, AL (PRWEB) July 22, 2011
A parent has filed a federal lawsuit against the DeKalb County Board of Education and one of its teachers after her son came home from school with bruises on his body claiming to having been beaten by his science teacher, Mr. Stuart Mitchell. The 12 page lawsuit was filed by Melissa Lewis on behalf of her son Payton Lewis, a seventh-grade athlete and honor student at Plainview High School in Rainsville, Alabama. Lewis v. DeKalb County Board of Education et al, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, 5:11-cv-02627-JEO
According to the lawsuit, Payton returned from school complaining that his bottom hurt when Lewis discovered that he had been struck and was severely bruised for not making a high enough grade on a test. Complaints to Plainview School, The DeKalb County Board of Education, and the police were all futile, as were requests to have Payton transferred out of Mitchell's classroom.
Alabama is one of 20 states that still allow corporal punishment in schools, and the DeKalb County Board of Education's guidelines permit "the moderate use of physical force" for disciplinary reasons. The guidelines also require that students be given an alternative to corporal punishment, such as alternative school or detention.
According to the lawsuit, Mitchell applied excessive force and did so without a disciplinary reason. The lawsuit also alleges that Mitchell failed to offer Payton an alternative punishment prior to striking him.
Lewis's attorneys, Greg Yaghmai of Rutledge & Yaghmai in Birmingham, and Abbey Herrin of the Law Offices of Abbey Herrin in Rainsville, believe that Mitchell's alleged failure to adhere to the DeKalb County Board of Education's guidelines constitutes due process violations. According to the lawsuit, the County Board of Education has received numerous complaints from parents for decades about the force used by Mitchell, a former football player at Auburn University.
As lead attorney for Lewis, Yaghmai states, “This purpose of this suit is to not only address the harm to Payton, but to prevent other students from unjustly getting beaten in the future.”
Lewis is seeking compensatory damage and punitive damages along with injunctive relief preventing the future violations of the school board's policies and procedures.
For more information, contact Greg Yaghmai of Rutledge & Yaghmai at (205) 969-2868 or Greg(at)rylaw(dot)net.