New Judge, New Timetable in Pottsville School Hazing Civil Rights Lawsuit
A federal judge recently agreed to a new timetable in the Pottsville hazing lawsuit.
Court records show that Judge Jennifer P. Wilson agreed on Jan. 17 to extend key deadlines in the civil rights lawsuit facing Pottsville Area School District.
A new schedule hasn’t been agreed to by the school or the suing party.
New Schedule for Pottsville Hazing Lawsuit
The lawsuit in question is the infamous KS vs Pottsville Area School District. It’s filed in US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
The parents of a Pottsville Area High School student, id’d as KS in the civil rights lawsuit, claim their child is the victim of unjust and unfair punishment by school administration.
Discipline handed down to KS is related to a reported 2018 incident in the Pottsville football locker room. In it, KS and other students are alleged to have harassed and potentially assaulted a mentally challenged man.
When an anonymous report of the incident reached members of the Pottsville Area school board and local media, it touched off a confusing reaction from district officials.
Pottsville school officials launched their own investigation. Students suspended. Teachers suspended. The school board opened a search for a new football coach.
But in their lawsuit filed in late February 2019, the parents of KS say their child was unfairly punished. And they say the “charges” against their child violate his civil rights. The lawsuit alleges the school essentially held its own kangaroo court to scapegoat their child.
Since then, the school re-hired the football coach and has gone back and forth with the plaintiffs in this lawsuit.
Each step of the way, of course, comes more legal fees being absorbed by Pottsville taxpayers. They’re all to pay for the way the school, first, allowed this incident to happen, and then bungled the handing out of discipline.
The last action taken before requesting a new schedule and a new judge assigned happened in July. On July 15, Pottsville filed a reply to its initial request to have the lawsuit thrown out.
Since then, this case got assigned to a new judge in US District Court. Judge Jennifer Wilson took over for Robert D. Mariani, originally assigned to the case. That happened on Nov. 15, 2019.
No new schedule is set. The previous schedule had a deadline for discovery in this case for Dec. 31, 2019. No trial date had been set but the expert discovery phase had a deadline of May 15, 2020.
Presumably, all these dates would get pushed back, presumably after the 2019-20 school term ends.