Nathan Hale Ray Parent Suing District

The mother of a high schooler in East Haddam says her son suffered permanent injuries from a fight with another student at the school in 2010.


The mother of a student is suing the district on accusations that her son suffered permanent injuries following a fight at the school in 2010.

Claudia Alford says in her lawsuit, filed against the East Haddam Board of Education, that the fight took place in June of 2010 in plain view of at least one teacher, and perhaps several, at the high school. She says in the legal action that another male student at Hale Ray “maliciously engaged in a physical altercation with the minor plaintiff which resulted in the minor plaintiff sustaining serious injuries, which injuries consisted of a separated right shoulder, with attendant pain and discomfort.”

The lawsuit states the altercation was “in full view of employee(s),” of the school board, “who failed to take any measures to prevent such incident, and failed to intervene and prevent said incident from escalating.”

East Haddam School Superintendent Ellen Solek said she could not comment on the lawsuit because it is pending litigation.

Alford says in her legal action that the school board was negligent because it failed to evaluate the teacher or teachers’ fitness to supervise students. She also argues that the teacher or teachers who witnessed the fight were negligent because they failed to use reasonable care in supervising the students and failed to take action to prevent the injury to her son.

“As a result of the aforesaid incident the minor plaintiff has suffered and will continue (to suffer) a diminishment of his ability to carry on and enjoy life’s activities … and will continue to require continuing therapy and long term treatment…”

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages from the school district in excess of $15,000.

Gene Bartholomew January 31, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Teachers are there to teach, they are not there as body guards. Places like MT St John have "counselors" who are trained to restrain people. Public schools have no one trained to do that. People need to be responsible for their actions and the actions of their children, whether deliberate or accidental, responsibility is the foundation of society, and we lack it. Whenever something happens everyone is looking for a place to shoot the blame, first look at yourselves. If a teacher or anyone in the school got involved and seriously hurt the perpetrator of the initial violence you can bet that their parents would be all sue happy, saying they used excessive force, or they may have been injured themselves. Did you ever consider that? Parents need to start steppng up to the plate and teach responsibility, like when you hit a car inthe parking lot and move a few spaces over and pretend nothing happened, what did you just teach your kids that were sitting in the car with you?? monkey see- monkey do
Will Brady February 01, 2012 at 02:39 AM
I recall getting into an auto accident, as a passenger. The car flipped over after hitting a patch of ice. The driver (unbeknownst to me at the time, was intoxicated) I sustained injuries to my shoulder and face - a scar above my right eye. It was a long time before I could go back to work due to the shoulder injury. I asked for my medical expenses to be covered. the insurance company obliged. Some times things happen. Sorry to hear the kid was injured, but these things happen in life. How did the fight start anyhow? How are the school board responsible?
Skeptic February 01, 2012 at 03:16 AM
I spent time in both public and private schools. In public school fights were common. In private school they did not exist. If we force people to pay for a school system whether they like it or not then the vast majority of people will be financially compelled to send their children to that system. I would agree 100% with Gene and Will if people had the option to take their taxes in the form of a voucher and go to another public or private school. But if you're going to corner working people into having to use the government schools in their town then I don't think it's too much to ask that the highly paid staff in those schools maintain a safe school environment, including using reasonable efforts to stop an ongoing assault. Those years I was in public schools teachers always stopped fights. If the teachers we have now are too incompetent to enforce discipline they should be fired and replaced with people who can do it. The threat of getting fired might just lead to some improvement. Hiring competent people is the responsibility of the Board of Education.
Gene Bartholomew February 01, 2012 at 02:07 PM
One thing you have to remember is that it costs $12-15,000 per student per year in Ct public schools, PARENTS PAY CLOSE ATTENTION I want you to look at your yearly tax bill to your town, whats the total?? $5500?? $8200?? It doesn't even pay for one kid, so lets drop the "I pay my taxes and therefore the towns owes me" crap. You are indebted to the town, all the people and businesses, that is the reality, you may not like it, but no one owes you anything, you owe. In most towns the schools are 80% of the budget, I'm not sure how a voucher system could even work, it seems it would cost taxpayers too much. And fights happen in private schools, what makes you think they don't??? They are just not publicized, it hurts their bottom line they are a business and anything that would make the school look bad is squelched. I worked at a private school, the local police got so upset that they were told to drop everything they hardly bothered anymore, even when we were ripped off for thousands of dollars of equipment the student was expelled and charges dropped and nothing in the paper, anything that may make a parent think twice about sending their kid there is kept quiet, even Mt St John keeps it quiet. The BOE is responsible for hiring competent teachers, not guards, if your kid hurts another you are responsible, responsible, responsible.
Gene Bartholomew February 01, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Lets do some math, this is fun. Lets say you have 3 kids, and it costs your town $12,000 per child per year, and your 3 kids go through 12 years of school there, if costs do not rise it costs the town $432,000 to put your kids through K-12. Now lets say you live in that town for 20 years and pay around $8,000 in taxes each year, that would net $160,000 in taxes which leaves $272,000 the town still has to make up. Multiply that by how many kids are in school. That is why I advocate for parents to attack DC and demand less spending on Halliburton and more on domestic education, its been cut since the 70's, don't attack your town, they're doing the best the can with the crumbs they get from DC and Hartford.


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