HUNTINGTON - The parents of an autistic child are suing Cabell County Board of Education after they claim it falsely imprisoned their autistic son in a secluded room as punishment for disruption.

Huntington High School was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On Oct. 16, 2012, Levi Smith was a student at Huntington High School and was under the supervision of his teachers and associate principal when he was placed in the ISS room, which is a secluded room, as a form of punishment for disruptive behavior, according to a complaint filed Nov. 4 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Jennifer Via and Anthony Smith claim the room their son was placed in did not have a doorknob on the inside of the door or any other means of exit to the outside.

The defendants had or should have had notice of the repeated instances of placing disabled individuals in ISS as a form of punishment, but never took action to adequately investigate these claims, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants violated the U.S. Constitution and caused Levi Smith emotional and mental anguish; humiliation and embarrassment; and other damages.

The defendants falsely imprisoned Levi Smith with the intent to confine and restrain the plaintiff's physical freedom, within a bounded and defined area, without legal justification and by actually committing such an act, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages. They are being represented by Erika Klie Kolenich and Lorena Waddell of Klie Law Offices PLLC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 13-C-817

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