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Federal court gets lawsuits alleging students locked in closet

Posted February 25, 2011

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— Federal courts will hear lawsuits filed by two Fayetteville parents alleging that their elementary school children were locked in a janitor's closet as punishment.

Joan Williams and Charlene Covington filed the lawsuits in Cumberland County Superior Court in early February, seeking damages of more than $20,000.

The Cumberland County Board of Education filed notice Wednesday exercising its option as a government body to have the case heard in federal court. The lawsuits also name custodian James Lee as a defendant.

In court papers, Williams and Covington claim that during the 2009-2010 school year, their children and another kindergartner at Alma Easom Primary School were punished for acting up in class by being locked in a janitor's closet. Their lawyer has said the school district ignored the students' complaints.

Cumberland County Schools' attorney David Phillips said that administrators investigated the claims and determined the incident "simply did not occur."

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  • RM24 Feb 25, 2011

    Wildcat. Was this your children. Man you dont like this story huh.

  • wildcat Feb 25, 2011

    WHILE THE CHILDREN WAS LOCKED UP, WAS THE TEACHER STANDING ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE DOOR? OR WAS THE CHILDREN LEFT TOTALLY ALONE?

  • wildcat Feb 25, 2011

    I do hope the children received good counseling because of this abuse.

  • wildcat Feb 25, 2011

    what makes you think their teacher can... or should even have to. ttyndall

    THEN MAYBE THE TEACHER IS IN THE WRONG JOB IF THEY HAVE TO RESORT TO LOCKING UP THE CHILDREN AND THROWING AWAY THE KEY. DID THEY GO AND CHECK ON THE CHILDREN? WAS THEIR A LIGHT ON IN THAT CLOSET?

  • wildcat Feb 25, 2011

    No matter how disorderly the child is, there was a much better way of handling it. Many teachers cannot handle their own children let alone someone else's. May all school learn from this.

  • wildcat Feb 25, 2011

    The janitor should lose his job too.

  • wildcat Feb 25, 2011

    IS THIS WHAT SCHOOLS HAS BECOME WHEN YOU HAVE A DISORDERLY CHILD? JUST LOCKED THEM UP....HOW MANY STUDENTS KNEW ABOUT THIS SITUATION AND YET SAID NOTHING? ARE THE STUDENTS AFRAID OF THE SCHOOL STAFF THERE? PARENTS NEED TO TALK TO THEIR OWN CHILD AND FIND OUT HOW THINGS ARE AT THAT SCHOOL.

  • wildcat Feb 25, 2011

    if you can't control your child at home, what makes you think their teacher can... or should even have to.
    ttyndall

    Regardless how the child is treated at home. Teachers are their to teach the child and not be like their parents. The teacher made a wrong decision and now face harsh consequences. I do hope the teacher will be fired after the federal court.

  • wildcat Feb 25, 2011

    I am praying that the two families win their federal case.

  • wildcat Feb 25, 2011

    And the article does not even say what the children were doing that was so bad they had to be locked in a dark closet.

    It could not have been that bad to warrant the children to be locked up in a closet. Would you want your child to be in that position in school? What was this teacher and school thinking? Was the principal/assistant notified of the children being locked up? Why was not the parents notified of this immediately? Some to their authority and went over-board. May they lose their job because of a bad decision.

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