ELKINS, W.Va. – Another lawsuit has been filed in Randolph County surrounding allegations that a Pre-K teacher locked students in a closet as a form of punishment.
In January 2019, parents of former Beverly Elementary School students filed 13 separate lawsuits against the Randolph County Board of Education and the teacher accused of the abuses.
Now another set of parents have filed suit, against the Board of Education and former superintendent Gabe Devono, related to the case. The mother of one of the students who was alleged to have been locked in the closet, was also a teacher in the Randolph County School system, has along with her husband, filed the most recent suit. In it, the couple alleges that she was fired from her position because she complained about the treatment of her daughter.
The lawsuit claims that the women’s firing was retaliatory, violated West Virginia’s “whistle blower” statute, violated her First Amendment right to free speech and constitutional right to retain legal counsel. It further claims that Devono failed to “conduct a complete, thorough and unbiased investigation,” “attempted to cover up the abuses” and created “bogus reasons for her discharge.”
The couple, represented by attorney James Fox, have asked for a jury trial.
Randolph County Board of Education officials have not yet issued a comment on the latest suit.