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Schuylkill County News

Settlement in the Pottsville School Hazing Lawsuit?

pottsville high school 1024

Board members at Pottsville Area School District approved a motion that appears to OK a settlement in the so-called hazing lawsuit that riled up the public over the last year.

In that lawsuit, a student claims their civil rights were violated by an unjust out-of-school suspension following a 2018 incident in the football locker room.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. And on this week’s school board meeting agenda, the student is only identified by number: 231790.

Pottsville School Board OKs Settlement in Hazing Lawsuit

During this week’s school board meeting, the student is only identified by number. And board members unanimously approved a motion to accept a settlement agreement between the school and this student:

pottsville school board settlement agreement hazing lawsuit

We’re not aware of any other students who’ve filed lawsuits against the school recently. However, the school only identifies this student in public records by an ID number once since the beginning of 2019. And that was just this past week.

According to a search of of court records, this would sync with the current case filings in the K.S. vs. Pottsville Area School District lawsuit.

On April 17, Pottsville Area School District filed an answer to an amended complaint in this case. Previously, on March 26, the school earned somewhat of a victory in this case. After about a year of back-and-forth between the parties, Judge Jennifer P. Wilson dismissed Count 2 of the multi-count complaint against the school district.

In Count 2 of the lawsuit, K.S. tried arguing that his First Amendment rights were violated when he allegedly danced nude in front of a mentally challenged man inside the Pottsville high school football locker room.

No other counts were dismissed from the lawsuit. But in the latest court filing, the school still denies several allegations against it.

The So-Called Hazing Incident

It was that incident, back in 2018, that prompted an anonymous letter received by the school district. The letter allegedly detailed the incident that happened back in 2018.

The school responded to the letter and eventually suspended K.S. Two faculty members were also temporarily disciplined. And the head football coach was temporarily removed from his job when the school board voted last year to seek his replacement. None was found and the coach was re-hired.

The lawsuit focused on the school’s response to the incident. In it, K.S. alleged they were subject to unfair discipline from the school administration. The student also claims to have been unfairly targeted by the school and wasn’t permitted to defend their actions justly before the people who ultimately decided their fate.


Pottsville Hazing Lawsuit Case Schedule

Court documents show that on April 16, a Settlement Conference was scheduled for June 16 at 10 a.m. in Harrisburg before Magistrate Judge William I. Arbuckle.

A conference call with Arbuckle was held between the two parties involved in this lawsuit on April 15. That call was to determine the merits of this case and schedule the Settlement Conference this summer.

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  1. Ryles

    April 28, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    & not a peep of this in the Republican Herald. Thanks for keeping us informed.

    • admin

      April 28, 2020 at 11:26 pm

      You bet. Sorry we got cross.

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