Thursday, December 23, 2010

Former cheerleaders sue Seneca school district

How much control, if any, should school officials to be able to maintain over the conduct of student athletes when they are not at school?

That seems to be the question at hand in a lawsuit filed today by two former Seneca High School cheerleaders. Named as defendants in the action are members of the R-7 Board of Education and Principal Tosha Fox.

The cheerleaders, one of whom was the captain, say they were unfairly removed from the squad by Ms. Fox, according to the petition. On June 10, they were "informed they would be removed from the cheer squad immediately."

They were being disciplined, according to the lawsuit, "for conduct alleged to have occurred off district property when the school was not in session."

The lawsuit says Ms. Fox singled out the students in an interview with the Seneca News-Dispatch and at an assembly of students in August and that she tried to have the students sign a bullying contract. Nowhere in the lawsuit does it describe what transgressions the former cheerleaders allegedly committed. When KSNF broke the story this afternoon, it was reported that school officials told the television station that the lawsuit had nothing to do with the hazing incident involving Seneca football players at a camp at Pittsburg State University, but coincidentally, the cheerleaders were removed from the squad at almost the exact time the hazing allegations were leveled.

The bullying contract the cheerleaders said they were asked to sign is part of the new policy implemented by the school board following the hazing incidents.

It would appear that the allegations against the cheerleaders may have come from something posted on the internet.

One of the students, referred to as "P. A." in the lawsuit says the actions of the principal and board:

-Included removal of her position as cheer captain

-Threat of preclusion from her position as a top All-American Cheerleader

-She was removed as FFA vice president

-Her position on the National Honor Society was threatened.

-She was alienated from other students and from her fellow cheerleaders

-She was precluded from receiving certain scholarships.

The other student, referred to as K. E.  also referred to her removal from the cheerleading squad, alienation from students and from her fellow cheerleaders.

Both say the actions of the defendants have been harmful to their "learning environment."

They say their constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy have been violated.

They are asking for "fair and reasonable damages," punitive damages, attorney fees, costs, and expenses.


Anonymous said...

Shawna Peterson to tips
show details 3:32 PM (19 minutes ago)

There is a lot more to this story.
The school district didn't protect a IEP Student from a Bully, which is not the girls named in this lawsuit. The parents of this IEP student had been to the school a large number of times and the district did nothing. These 2 girls and their families that filed the lawsuit only tried to help the Bullied IEP student by making her feel better about herself. The bully lied and made false statements and in turn the students got in trouble, only because the bullies grandma works at the school. The bully is still bulling kids and the district is not doing anything about it. My niece left the Seneca School district because of this bully. If I was you I would try to get in touch with the families so that you can get the story and the facts surrounding the lawsuit! It is the only way to protect the children in Seneca from the playground bullies and some of the teachers!
Shame of the school district and shame on this bully and her family.........these 2 girls where doing the right thing by protecting this young girl.

Anonymous said...

And the two High school girls had been in trouble for an alcohol incedent the previous year, so yes indeed there is more to this story.

I know both High School girls and frankly they let their alligator mouths rule their misquito rear ends.

Frankly I will be relieved when our youngest child is finally out of this school and the constant drama.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely more to the story. The poor little jr. high girl referred to as a bully, is in fact the VICTIM! The girl claiming to be bullied is the BULLY. She incessantly bullies this particular girl, as well as numerous other students, including my daughter. The cheer coach and administration just look the other way because the mother of the true bully is constantly causing drama with the school.

However, in defense of the true bully, she is often neglected and this is her misguided attempt at gaining attention. It's a sad, sad situation.

Anonymous said...

sounds like all of you are full of drama!

how is the parents of children causing drama at the schools? Doesn't your administration keep people like this out of your school?

Also to the last person who this Junior High or High School? Because the law suit doesn't state that..does it?
It sounds like it's just a lot of drama and not bullying

Anonymous said...

anonymous #3:

are you saying that someone in the district is neglected at school?

and are you referring to your daughters cheer coach in the Mid-School that turns her head.

according to all the problems that appears to have in their schoool system, maybe you are neglecting your own child. The quilty are always quick to point the finger.

Anonymous said...

why are you blaming others. If I were you all I would wait for the discoveries of the law suit to be shared. you all might just be shocked to see what you find!

And to all the kids are trying to blame, you may find that it's not them at all.

You all must be smart enough to realize that you just can't file Federal Law suit just because you want to. There has to be proof that rights have been violated. (no attorney would take a case unless there was)

I also don't know what the second comment is about regarding an alcohol incedent the previous year. They certainly must have been punished for that and if they are using that as a crutch for punishing them for something else, then that in fact would be a violoation of their rights.

Come on momma's support the sytems don't work against it. Obviously ther are some issues with bullying and none of us will know who the real bully is.

Anonymous said...

Oh I am pretty sure most people who have paid much attention know exactly who the real bully is. Her name comes up every time there is trouble.
All these assumptions are funny but way off base. I wouldn't send my children to Seneca for anything. The whole school system over there is a joke as well as the administration. I hope everything nasty thing they have done comes out in court.

Anonymous said...

Opps should have edited the last better. I think you all get my point though. Tosha Fox shouldn't be allowed within so many feet of children and as for the federal bullying act that was passed a few years ago......Seneca has simply chose to ignore it.

Anonymous said...

Aren't IEP's private? Only in Seneca does a child's IEP become public knowledge. School system is the joke of Missouri. For post above.....from what I know of the Fox lady she needs to be booted out asap!

Anonymous said...

To the person referring to the "real bully":

If your child is being bullied and the school is not doing anything about it, then perhaps you shouls call the parents of the "real bully" or call the police. If you have facts to back your case then file charges against the girl. It sounds like you must Work at the school, since you seem to know that this parent is at the school causing trouble. Are you breaking the law with. FERPA. Also making false statements about how the girl is neglected at home is slandering someones name and is against the law. If the childs parents wanted to they can pay to track an IP address to show were the comment came from. It is obvious that you must not like the cheer coach or you are just as jealous as the person. You are calling the victim. Stacy W.

Anonymous said...

Wow..just wow. How did the school system let this happen to these girls? Talk about over zealous! Is anyone in charge at that school? DO they have policies? It disgusts me they can play with their futures like that and I am SO glad something is being done. J.B.

Anonymous said...

You go girls!!!! Sue the crap out of em. Seneca supports you!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Seneca sux!!!! I'm glad these girls stood up to a bully! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

this all falls back on how the administration handled this, its about time someone stands up to Fox. When u leave ur comments remember these are all children u are talking about think about the consequences ur words may have on them,how about praying for all parties involved and pray that something can be done with the administration so this type of thing doesnt happen again

Pete said...

I just wonder how many more lives of our children have to be ruined before our school board wakes up and does something