Five former students and their families are suing a Pittsburgh area school district, alleging a culture of abuse stemming from high school administrators, security members and school resource officers.
The lawsuit, brought by attorneys from several Pittsburgh law firms and filed Wednesday morning in U.S. District Court, lists the defendants as the Woodlands Hills School District, Superintendent Alan Johnson, former principal Kevin Murray, Assistant Principal Patrick Scott, Churchill borough, Churchill police officers Stephen Shaulis and Chris Lewandowski, and Dynasty Security, which provides additional security at the school.
In the suit, the students allege that Murray, the two officers and the security staff committed assault and intimidation and filed false criminal charges against them. The students accuse the district and administration of ignoring the abuse.
The suit also alleges civil rights violations and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Several of the students are special needs students.
You can read the entire lawsuit here:
Several videos have surfaced that involve the school staff and students. Some of the videos involve Shaulis and Murray. Both allegedly assaulted African-American students, some of whom were special needs students.
The school board accepted Murray’s resignation as principal and football coach last week. Shaulis is still on the Churchill police force.
The lawsuit claims the district and its employees created an environment of verbal abuse, excessive force and intimidation, and that resulted in harm to the five students.
Murray had been hired as head football coach in April amid protests after he had been previously placed on leave as principal for threatening a 14-year-old special education student. He resigned both posts in August.
Per the Post-Gazette, assistant principal Candee Nagy will serve as the Woodland Hills substitute principal during an ongoing search. Tim Bostard, scheduled to serve as an assistant coach, will instead be the interim football coach for the program for the forthcoming season.