Minnesota: Lewiston-Altura High School sued over bullying

By Nolan Rosenkrans
Excerpt from Winona Daily News
Winona, Minn. — Parents of a former Lewiston-Altura High School student who threatened to shoot his classmates have sued the school district, saying staff ignored bullying that prompted the incident.

James and Sarah Sommer of Lewiston filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court. The Sommers say the district shares responsibility for the mental anguish of their son, and that district officials expelled him without a required hearing. Lewiston-Altura superintendent Bruce Montplaisir denied knowing the student was bullied before he threatened his classmate, and said the student wasn’t expelled.

“They wouldn’t let him come back,” said Mark Stephenson, the Sommers’ attorney. “I’d call that an expulsion.”
The Sommers are seeking compensation of more than $50,000.

They say their son was repeatedly harassed by other students and one in particular. The physical and verbal harassment caused their son to quit the football team, according to the civil complaint. The abuse worsened in fall 2008, their son’s junior year at Lewiston-Altura, when he was pushed, hit and repeatedly taunted, the complaint says. Full story.


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