The Fayette County Board of Education voted Monday night to enter into negotiations on a lawsuit filed in 2014 against a teacher and the district.
It was filed by the parents of a student who at the time attended Lexington Traditional Magnet School. The suit alleged that the teacher physically harmed their son.
The lawsuit was originally filed in Fayette Circuit Court by Charles and Lori Dreux, who had claimed that John Foley, then a math teacher, had caused pain and emotional fear and suffering to their son, 13 at the time. The lawsuit was moved to U.S. District Court in February of this year. Court records say a settlement conference is scheduled for Oct. 19.
The lawsuit says the student was wearing a sling in class for a broken collarbone when the teacher harmed him.
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Near the end of the class, the student and another male student began engaging in “horseplay of a teasing nature,” the suit said.
The lawsuit said the behavior between the two boys could not be deemed fighting, arguing or even roughhousing.
While the Dreuxes’ son and the other student were engaged in horseplay, the teacher grabbed the son, “pushed him against a door, wrestled him to the floor, and then sat on his chest” while applying pressure to the fracture site of his collarbone, the lawsuit alleged.
That caused “immediate physical pain and emotional fear and suffering,” the lawsuit said.
The teacher’s conduct was “outrageous, beyond the bounds of acceptable or reasonable classroom management techniques in dealing with student horseplay, and reckless,” the suit said.
The school board vote came after a closed session Monday, and school board members did not comment after the vote. School district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall told the Herald-Leader in 2014 that Foley was no longer an employee of the school district, according to the newspaper’s archives.
Attorneys for Foley and the Dreuxes could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.