LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A former principal at Whitney Young Elementary School is being sued by a mother who says her daughter lost vision in one eye after “a known bully” punched her in January 2016.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by Louisville attorney Nick Naiser on behalf of Betty Wilson and her daughter, names former Whitney Young Elementary Principal Mary Minyard as the lone defendant.
It claims an unnamed female student at the school began to harass the then-8-year-old-girl at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year, ultimately culminating in the girl getting punched in the eye during gym class Jan. 25, 2016, when the physical education teacher wasn’t in the room.
The girl “sustained severe physical and psychological injuries as a result of the foregoing incidents” and “is now unable to see out of the eye in which she was punched,” the lawsuit says. She has since transferred to another school, according to the suit.
JCPS declined to comment on pending litigation.
Naiser told WDRB News that Wilson and the girl’s step-father, who had recently immigrated from West Africa, raised their concerns with school staff about the alleged bullying before their daughter was struck. Since they sought a transfer, Naiser said his clients aren’t sure whether the other student was disciplined.
Minyard “failed to take reasonable steps to protect” the girl and “took no meaningful action to prevent” her injuries, the lawsuit says. The gym teacher will likely be added as a defendant once he or she is identified, according to the suit.
“Most school teachers are certainly good, but by the same token, my clients are pursuing this matter because they feel that no child should have to go to school afraid and no parent should have to be worried when they send their child off to school,” Naiser said.
“Most principals are great principals, and even the best make mistakes,” he added. “I think this is just a situation where the ball got dropped, and unfortunately our client was hurt because of it, and we think that the folks who are responsible for dropping the ball should be held accountable for what happened.”
The suit seeks a jury trial, damages and attorneys’ fees.
The lawsuit can be read here:
Reach reporter Kevin Wheatley at 502-585-0838 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @KevinWheatleyKY.
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