school district

ACLU, RI Legal Services file federal complaint against PPSD. Here’s what it says.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island and Rhode Island Legal Services announced on Wednesday they filed a federal complaint against the Providence Public School District for allegedly failing to give parents of special education students important documents on services they may receive.

According to a news release, the complaint, filed with the US Department of Education, states that the documents “contain student test protocols, which include notes and observations of evaluators that form the basis of reports on the services that must be provided to address the child’s special educational needs.”

“The complaint, on behalf of a Providence parent and her child, was filed as a class administrative complaint on behalf of all children with disabilities or suspected disabilities in the school district,” the release said. “The school district has admitted that it has failed to maintain and/or cannot locate evaluation and test protocols for the child and, presumably, other students.”

More on PPSD:What’s happening with Providence school closings? Everything you need to know

The RIACLU and RI Legal Services said they’re seeking “a variety of forms of relief,” including trainings for school staff on protocols and an order barring the district from “using evaluations where protocols have been mislaid, lost, or destroyed illegally if a parent or guardian objects to their use.”

Reaching for comment, Rhode Island Department of Education spokesman Victor Morente said the school district “was recently made aware of the complaint.”

“It is under review by PPSD’s legal counsel, and they will respond accordingly,” he added.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: ACLU, RI Legal Services file complaint against PPSD on special education records

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Virginia boy who shot teacher allegedly tried to choke another, lawyer claims

A 6-year-old Virginia boy who shot and wounded his first-grade teacher constantly cursed at staff and teachers, chased students around and tried to whip them with his belt and once choked another teacher “until she couldn’t breathe,” according to a legal notice filed by an attorney for the wounded teacher .

The incidents were described in a notice sent to the Newport News school district by Diane Toscano, an attorney for teacher Abby Zwerner, informing the district that Zwerner intends to sue. The notice of claim, which was obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request, outlines prior behavioral issues the boy had at Richneck Elementary School and the troubling interactions he had with teachers and students.

Two days before the shooting, the boy allegedly “slammed” Zwerner’s cellphone and broke it, according to the claim notice. He was given a one-day suspension, but when he returned to Zwerner’s class the following day, he pulled a 9mm handgun out of his pocket and shot him while he sat at a reading table, the notice says.

The notice elaborates on allegations of Toscano outlined last month during a news conference.

The document says that several hours before the shooting, at least three teachers and staff members warned school administrators that they believed the boy had brought a gun to school. The boy’s backpack was searched, but no gun was found, and administrators did not remove the boy from class, lock down the school or call the police.

Virginia Shooting
A teacher was injured in a shooting Jan. 6, 2023, at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia.

Virginian Pilot / Contributor / Getty Imahes


The claim notice says that Zwerner went to former Assistant Principal Ebony Parker’s office at about 11:15 am that day “to advise her that the shooter seemed

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6-year-old Virginia student who shot his teacher tried choking another

RICHMOND, Va. — A 6-year-old Virginia boy who shot and wounded his first-grade teacher constantly cursed at staff and teachers, chased students around and tried to whip them with his belt and once choked another teacher “until she couldn’t breathe,” according to a legal notice filed by an attorney for the wounded teacher.

The incidents were described in a notice sent to the Newport News school district by Diane Toscano, an attorney for teacher Abby Zwerner, informing the district that Zwerner intends to sue. The notice of claim, which was obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request, outlines prior behavioral issues the boy had at Richneck Elementary School and the troubling interactions he had with teachers and students.

Two days before the shooting, the boy allegedly “slammed” Zwerner’s cellphone and broke it, according to the claim notice. He was given a one-day suspension, but when he returned to Zwerner’s class the following day, he pulled a 9mm handgun out of his pocket and shot him while he sat at a reading table, the notice says.

The notice elaborates on allegations of Toscano outlined last month during a news conference.

The document says that several hours before the shooting, at least three teachers and staff members warned school administrators that they believed the boy had brought a gun to school. The boy’s backpack was searched, but no gun was found, and administrators did not remove the boy from class, lock down the school or call the police.

A CHILD SHOT HIS TEACHER. A 72-YEAR-OLD MAN OPENED FIRE IN PUBLIC:Here’s what that tells us about guns in America.

6-YEAR-OLD SHOOTS, WOUNDS VIRGINIA TEACHER:School administrators ‘could not be bothered’ to heed warnings that day, the lawyer said.

Students return to Richneck Elementary in Newport News, Virginia.  The elementary school where a 6-year-old boy shot his teacher reopened with stepped-up security and a new administrator, as nervous parents and students expressed optimism about a return to the classroom.

The claim notice says that Zwerner went to former Assistant Principal

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Former principal at Virginia school where boy shot his first-grade teacher was not told the child had a gun, her attorney says

The former principal at the Virginia elementary school where a 6-year-old student shot his first-grade teacher last month was not warned that the child may have had a gun on campus that day, his lawyer said Thursday.

No other administrators told Briana Foster Newton, the former principal at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, about warnings the child may have taken a gun on campus, Pamela J. Branch, her attorney, said at a brief news conference Thursday.

“It continues to be reported that unidentified school administrators were aware that the 6-year-old student had a gun at school on Jan. 6 and simply failed to act. Mrs. Newton has been assumed to be one of those administrators. However, that is far from the truth,” Branch said. “The fact of the matter is that those who were aware that the student may have had a gun on the premises that day did not report this to Mrs. Newton at all.”

Branch continued, “I repeat: Mrs. Newton was unfortunately not one of the administrators who was informed by those in the school that day who had this critical information.”

The branch took only a few questions from reporters Thursday citing an investigation and the possibility of future litigation. She added the students had only recently returned to the school and are trying to regain normalcy.

‘They failed to act, and Abby was shot’

The teacher, Abigail Zwerner, 25, was wounded in a hand and her chest after the student shot her in front of a classroom of about 20 students, officials have said.

Zwerner survived and is recovering.

On Jan. 25, Zwerner’s attorney, Diane Toscano, made a series of allegations that the administration at Richneck ignored multiple warnings that could have prevented the shooting.

Three teachers went to the school administration on the

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Tecumseh Public Schools to receive legal aid in Supreme Court case

TECUMSEH — Tecumseh Public Schools will receive legal aid in a Michigan Supreme Court case involving a former school principal’s certification during the 2018-19 school year.

During the Tecumseh Board of Education meeting Monday, board members accepted up to $25,000 in aid from the Michigan Association of School Boards.

Carl Lewandowski, who is now a principal in the Adrian school district, was told that he was grandfathered in for certification and did not renew his certification until the spring of 2019. Over the years of Lewandowski’s career, the Michigan Department of Education changed the rules about the certification of administrators like Lewandowski who were employed prior to Jan. 4, 2010.

At the time, Tecumseh Public Schools appealed the decision, which was the deduction of $65,581.50 in state aid. However, the state superintendent denied the appeal. The deduction was nearly the equivalent of Lewandowski’s pay.

Last month, the appeals court ruled the Michigan Department of Education improperly withheld the funding after it was determined the MDE failed to recognize the school district and Lewandowski were not violating state law regarding administrator certification.

More:Tecumseh schools win appeal in principal certification case

“The original fine was appealed to the State Superintendent for Instruction, who upheld the fine. We took it to court, and the decision was overturned in our favor, but MDE has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to hear the case, and it has agreed to do so,” said Superintendent Rick Hilderley.

The MDE is appealing to the appellate court’s decision to the Michigan Supreme Court, and the support from the MASB will go toward the district’s financial legal battle.

The school board did this when the case was at the Court of Appeals and received $15,000 toward $30,000 for attorney fees.

This article originally appeared on The Daily Telegram:

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Bremerton schools on hook for Kennedy’s attorney fees

Joe Kennedy, obscured at center in blue, is surrounded by Centralia High School football players as they kneel and pray with him on the field after their game against Bremerton on Oct.  16, 2015.

It’s all over now except for the shouting about who is going to pay Joe Kennedy’s lawyer bills.

That would be the Bremerton School District, according to Kennedy’s lawyers who at the US Supreme Court scored a nationwide victory Monday in a local controversy over the assistant varsity football coach’s right to pray on the field after games.

The district is not on the hook for damages, as Kennedy asked only to be reinstated as a Bremerton High School coach and to be allowed to hold a private prayer on the field after games.

However, the case racked up a huge tab as it bounced back and forth between the trial court, an appellate court and the US Supreme Court.

Hiram Sasser, executive general counsel for First Liberty, said Wednesday afternoon that the organization has not made a final tally, but he estimated the bill would run into the millions of dollars.

“I sure hope it’s not eight figures,” Sasser said Wednesday in a phone interview with the Kitsap Sun, meaning $10 million or more. “Any government entity, when they are defending themselves in a constitutional law case, they really have to make sure they are right.”

For its part, the district took issue with the decision’s focus on the three prayers Kennedy performed in October 2015, not the public prayers leading up to that, some of which others included and spanned seven years. Further, the district understands the ruling as affirming that officials can set “guidelines” for how Kennedy will pray.

“It described his prayers as quiet and personal and spokesperson that Mr. Kennedy sought only to pray alone,” district Karen Bevers wrote Friday in an email to the Kitsap Sun. “That wrongly describes what actually happened here: The school district had to respond to Mr. Kennedy’s whole course

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Kennedy’s attorney fees in prayer case could run into the millions

Joe Kennedy, obscured at center in blue, is surrounded by Centralia High School football players as they kneel and pray with him on the field after their game against Bremerton on Oct.  16, 2015.

Joe Kennedy, obscured at center in blue, is surrounded by Centralia High School football players as they kneel and pray with him on the field after their game against Bremerton on Oct. 16, 2015.

It’s all over now except for the shouting about who is going to pay Joe Kennedy’s lawyer bills.

That would be the Bremerton School District, according to Kennedy’s lawyers who at the US Supreme Court kennedy-reacts-supreme-court-decision-prayer-ban-case/7746195001/” data-ylk=”slk:scored a nationwide victory Monday in a local controversy over the assistant varsity football coach’s right to pray on the field after games” class=”link “scored a nationwide victory Monday in a local controversy over the assistant varsity football coach’s right to pray on the field after games.

The district is not on the hook for damages, as Kennedy asked only to be reinstated as a Bremerton High School coach and to be allowed to hold a private prayer on the field after games.

However, the case racked up a huge tab as it bounced back and forth between the trial court, an appellate court and the US Supreme Court.

Hiram Sasser, executive general counsel for First Liberty, said Wednesday afternoon that the organization has not made a final tally, but he estimated the bill would run into the millions of dollars.

“I sure hope it’s not eight figures,” Sasser said Wednesday in a phone interview with the Kitsap Sun, meaning $10 million or more. “Any government entity, when they are defending themselves in a constitutional law case, they really have to make sure they are right.”

For its part, the district took issue with the decision’s focus on the three prayers Kennedy performed in October 2015, not the public prayers leading up to that, some of which others included and spanned seven years. Further, the district understands

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