A group of administrators at Ola Middle School in Henry County filed a motion to dismiss a $3 million complaint after a student was stabbed on campus in March 2023.
“Bandaged up, Blood. I mean her hair was no longer blonde it was red,” the mother of the injured student, Ashley Wilson, told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington in November 2023.
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In the motion, the administrators argued:
“School administrators are entitled to official immunity for their actions in supervising students under their care.”
“They believe they have a choice whether or not to investigate after they are told by police that a child has a knife on campus and making threats,” said Andrew Gould, the attorney representing the mother of the injured student.
The motion went on to state:
“The disciplinary action in the 2022-2023 Student and Parent Handbook is discretionary on the part of school employees -- that if anything, any reports involving a weapon should have been dealt with the school resource officer, who is not part of the district.”
“School administrators can not be sued in an individual capacity for discretionary acts,” attorney Akil Secret with the Hall & Lampros Lawfirm told Washington on Friday.
Akil Secret does not represent the mother of the injured student, but he has represented students in the past. He reviewed the case for Channel 2 Action News.
Secret said few parents know about official immunity, but lawsuits can be brought against school administrators for failure to perform ministerial acts.
A ministerial act is defined as an act performed in a prescribed manner and in obedience to a legal authority, without regard to one’s own judgment or discretion.
“Some policy of the school board that specifically requires a school official to do something very specific,” Secret explained.
“This could have been prevented,” Ashley Wilson said in Nov. 2023.
There will be a hearing in February to discuss the case and whether it should move forward or be dismissed.
Washington contacted the Henry County School district for comment on the case. A spokesperson said the district does not comment on pending litigation.
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