By Greg Bird
McCreary County Schools Superintendent, McCreary Middle School Principal Todd Waters and the McCreary County Board of Education, through their legal counsel, have filled an official response to a lawsuit alleging a student in the District was bullied and suffered mental anguish as a result.
Chief Judge Karen Caldwell issued an order calling for the legal teams of both parties to meet within 21 days to “discuss the nature and basis of their claims and defenses, and the possibilities for a prompt settlement or resolution.”
Such an order is commonplace in an attempt to resolve the issue without the necessity of going to trial. If no settlement or resolution can be reached the parties will submit a plan for disclosure and discovery of evidence and information needed for trial, and decide on a suggested trial date.
Attorneys for the Defendants filed their official response to the allegations laid out in the original complaint, initially asking for dismissal since the Plaintiffs’ lawsuit: “fails to state a claim or cause of action against these defendants upon which relief can be granted and should, therefore, be dismissed.”
The 16-page document contains 31 additional defenses to the claims, denying the allegations outright, claiming immunity and other legal causes barring prosecution.
In their response the Defendants specifically deny any district employee was notified about any of the alleged bullying contained in the complaint, and further denies any agent or employee of the District ignored any report.
The Defendants also acknowledge the existence of a photo purportedly showing the defendant in a state of undress. But, they contend the individual’s face is obscured “so as not to be readily recognizable.”
It further states the issue of the photograph was properly investigated and acted upon.
Another defense denies the student in question, Mary Doe, was denied any educational opportunities or they caused her to experience severe mental anguish.
The Defendants also plead governmental and official immunity to the claims against them, as well as “good faith” immunity as they contend none of the actions (if any) were done with malice.
By Greg Bird