Lawsuit filed against MCHS principal, Mingo BOE

Staff Report

WILLIAMSON – Local attorney Justin Marcum filed suit Wednesday afternoon in the Mingo County Circuit Clerk’s Office on behalf of Amanda Davis, the parent of a Mingo Central High School (MCHS) student that alleges that Daniel Dean, the principal of the school, caused the student bodily harm. The Mingo County Board of Education (BOE) has also been named in the suit for alleged negligence.

According to the complaint, on January 20, 2017, the student was involved in an altercation at the high school.

The incident is said to have occurred behind closed doors. Allegedly, Dean screamed at the student, became frustrated, slapped the student in the face and knocked to her floor.

In the complaint, a witness is said to have stated, “Wow, he went too far”, in reference to Dean’s actions.

The suit alleges, “Dean recommended the student be suspended for 10 days and be sent to alternative school in attempt to silence the student from taking actions against him.”

Dean has been accused of causing the student severe bodily harm as a result of the alleged assault, battery and intentional act.

Don Spence, Superintendent of Mingo County Schools, issued the following statement concerning the incident, “The administration is aware of the lawsuit, which relates to reports last week on social media that asserted a student was physically assaulted and battered by a school employee. Administration takes any and all such reports very seriously, in particular those that relate to the safety and well-being of our students. To assert the school system would do otherwise, either by social media or a lawsuit is disappointing to those that commit their livelihoods to the mission of educating our students. The allegations were thoroughly investigated and determined to be wholly baseless. Beyond this statement, the school administration, unlike others, is limited in further addressing this issue in the media, given privacy rights afforded to students and employees and the impact of the litigation process. The lawsuit has been submitted to the school system’s insurance carrier. At this time, the school system will have no further comments and will proceed with responding through the court process.”

Currently, the incident is under investigation by the West Virginia State Police (WVSP). Dean is currently employed at the school and acting in an official capacity as principal. According to the complaint, “the BOE failed to suspend him pending an investigation into the serious matters alleged by the student and her mother.”

The suit alleges, the BOE is accused of negligence. The complaint alleges, “The BOE and its employees and agents were negligent by carelessly, recklessly and negligently failing to supervise its employees and students, failing to safeguard the student from a situation that was known to be dangerous, failing to undertake reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of the student and failing to otherwise act or comply within the pertinent standard of care required of the BOE and its employees.

The complaint also states that the BOE, “was further negligent by failing to properly employ, instruct, train, manage, and supervise its employees all of which was a direct and proximate cause of the damages suffered by the student. “

As a result of Dean’s actions and the negligence of BOE the complaint states that the student has endured and will continue to endure physical pain and suffering as well as emotional trauma and stress.

The suit is asking for compensatory damages, punitive damages, a trial by jury, and attorney fees.

Staff Report

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