News Article Details

Lawsuit claims school let boy drink urine

Times-Tribune - 2/6/2018

Feb. 05--Employees of a school in Throop twice let a student take his clothes off and drink his own urine, a lawsuit filed in Lackawanna County court alleges.

The lawsuit, brought by student's mother against the Mid Valley School District and the New Story school in Throop, a private school for students with autism and other special needs, claims the boy suffered severe emotional distress, regression in his mental development and aggressive behavior after the incidents. As a result, the boy had to be placed in a full-time institution providing educational and living support for his autism. To avoid harming the student, The Times-Tribune is not naming him or his mother.

On two subsequent days in February 2016, New Story employees placed the boy in a "quiet room" for alleged behavioral problems, where the employees watched him take off his clothes, urinate on the floor and then play with and drink the urine.

The boy, whose age is not revealed in the suit, "has been severely and significantly injured as a result of the conduct of the defendants," according to the suit filed by attorney Edwin A. Abrahamsen Jr.

The incidents were brought to light about a week after they took place amid a police investigation into suspected child endangerment and neglect at the school. Neither New Story or Mid Valley, which had placed the boy in the private school, immediately notified the mother, the suit states.

The lawsuit claims the defendants violated the boy's civil rights and federal special education law and seeks $75,000, plus attorney's fees.

Efforts to obtain a comment from Mid Valley were unsuccessful. Terri Crahalla, vice president and chief operating officer of New Story, said she had not seen the lawsuit and did not have a comment.

Contact the writer: shofius@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9133; @hofiushallTT on Twitter

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