Abusive teacher sued by Bloomington student
- Article by: David Chanen
- Star Tribune
- July 8, 2014 - 9:41 PM
The family of a 10-year-old boy has filed a federal lawsuit against the substitute teacher found guilty of malicious punishment of the Bloomington student and three of his classmates.
Laura Avery, 61, grabbed the boy identified as E.G. by the neck and took him to a “quiet room” at Oak Grove Elementary School in December 2012, according to court documents.
She slapped his shoulder and pushed him, and left red marks on his body.
The suit, which also names the Bloomington School District as a plaintiff, is asking for financial damages in excess of $200,000.
“She hasn’t taken responsibility for what she did,” said attorney Andrew Noel, one of the attorneys representing the boy’s family.
After the incident, a school staffer saw the boy was frightened and upset, the suit said. He was hysterical when he retold what happened, and Avery stared him and the other students down when she was taken to the office, the suit said.
E.G. wet his bed for several weeks after the incident and would wake up in the night and go to his mother’s bedroom for comfort, the suit said. He was also afraid to go outside because Avery lived in his neighborhood, the suit said. He is depressed and less talkative.
The suit accuses Avery of assault and battery, unreasonable search and seizure, excessive force and violating constitutional rights.
She yelled and swore at students in the classroom and threatened to slap them if they didn’t comply with directions.
Avery was found guilty of four counts of malicious punishment of a child last December.
She kicked, slapped or pulled the hair of the other students, court documents said. Avery denied swearing, but did tell students “this is garbage.”
She received a year in the county workhouse, but was required to only serve 18 days in the “sentence to serve” program in which participants do community service.
She also received two years’ probation and may not teach or have positions of authority over children.
Avery had been a substitute teacher for the district since 2003. She was never a full-time teacher and was not allowed to teach after the district learned about the punishment incidents.
David Chanen • 612-673-4465
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