QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A $5 million lawsuit filed against the Queensbury Union Free School District alleges that school officials knew about disturbing behavior happening on a school bus, and chose not to take remedial action. The Superintendent believes the defendants named in the case did not commit wrongdoing.
Albany Attorney Ryan Finn represents a Queensbury mother and her kids who are listed as John and Jane Doe in the suit. The lawsuit alleges the kids were in fourth and fifth grade last year when older students made sexually explicit remarks and threats to them on the school bus.
“The young daughter of our client decided she wanted to move her bed away from windows in the house,” Finn explained. “[She] was scared to take showers and was scared to be alone.”
School officials were promptly notified of the incident on the bus, according to the lawsuit, and they claimed they did a thorough investigation and took action to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. However, it was later learned that another graphic and threatening comment was made, and Finn explained that while school officials knew about it, they did not investigate, document, or report it.
The lawsuit alleges the school misled the child victims’ mother by denying anything else was said, “even going so far as to show a partial clip of the bus footage which this threat and harassment was not heard.”
“These things were very clearly and very intentionally left out by the school district,” Finn said, “which was part of the outrage that we’ve seen from other community members and the parents in this case.”
The school district’s communications office gave NEWS10 the following statement from the superintendent:
“The district is always committed to working with families to ensure the wellbeing of our students. We continue to work to maintain a safe and nurturing environment. We always take these matters seriously and do not believe there has been any wrongdoing by the district or the individuals named in the lawsuit. Federal privacy laws prohibit us from speaking further on this pending litigation.”Superintendent Kyle L. Gannon, Queensbury Union Free School District
You can read the full lawsuit and press release from Ryan Finn below.