by Rick Pezzullo
A special education teacher at Irvington Middle School has filed a lawsuit against the district after allegedly suffering “grievous and permanent injuries” after being attacked in a classroom last March by a student with a history of behavioral problems.
In an August 21 complaint filed in state Supreme Court, Clarice Martin, and her fellow plaintiff, husband Douglas Richard, claimed Irvington Middle School Principal David Sottile and Director of Pupil Person nel Services Scott Palermo were aware of the unnamed student’s “documented violent behavior” but failed to take proper steps to protect teachers and aides in the special education classroom or remove the student from the district.
Martin stated in the lawsuit that on March 16, 2017 the student struck her with a closed fist on the top of her head, “driving her head down into her spine.” As a result of the incident, Martin claimed she had suffered post-concussion syndrome, vertigo, speech impairment and other injuries, along with a loss of income and potential retirement benefits.
In a written statement posted on the district’s website, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kristopher Harrison stated the district was unable to publicly comment on the pending litigation. However, Harrison did make a general comment.
“As always, please know that we take our obligation to protect the health, safety and welfare of our students and staff at all times very seriously,” Harrison stated. “Indeed it is amongst our highest priorities. Please be assured that we remain committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for all of the members of our school community.”