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Weston School Faces Lawsuit Over Alleged Assault

WESTON, Conn. – The family of a former Weston Middle School student has sued the town's Board of Education and others over injuries suffered in a locker room in January 2010.

Included in the lawsuit, which seeks more than $15,000 in damages, are former Superintendent of Schools Jerome Belair, Weston Middle School Principal Kenneth Craw, Weston Middle School Assistant Principal Michael Bernadi and Patricia Powers, a physical education teacher at the middle school. Also named is a classmate whom the suit claims is responsible for the injuries the student sustained.

The family of the classmate, who is a juvenile and is not named, declined to comment. In an email Friday, current Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer said, “In terms of any legal proceeding related to the district, it would be inappropriate for me to comment."

The suit, filed last month in Stamford Superior Court, claims the classmate threw the then-11-year-old student against a “concrete cylinder block wall" in the boys' locker room after a gym class. The plaintiffs also claim in the suit that the alleged attacker had “a prior history of bullying, violence and impulse control” issues, and the school's faculty and staff should have never left him unattended.

The injured student suffers from constant and ongoing migraine headaches, a concussion, post-concussive syndrome, aggravation of pre-existing scoliosis of the lumbar spine, neck, back and shoulder pain, possible traumatic brain injury, shock to the system as well as mental and emotional trauma, according to the lawsuit.

The boy “has missed time from school, and has been impaired in his activities of daily living and his enjoyment of life activities," the suit says. Lewis H. Chimes, the attorney representing the student's family, could not be reached for comment.

The suit claims the Weston school system “failed to maintain adequate security, policies, procedure and rules” and that it failed to provide a safe environment for the child, failed to properly supervise the children and failed to “impose proper supervision” over the classmate.

When asked whether the classmate faces criminal charges in the matter, Weston Police Detective Carl Filsinger said he could not comment, “because it’s a juvenile matter and because there is pending litigation.”

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