Man blames Randolph Co. schools for son's death

By Annie Cosby | Dec 15, 2014

CHARLESTON – A Randolph County man is suing over claims his 17-year-old son was fatally stabbed by another high school student on school property.

Kevin R. White, individually and as administrator of the estate of Dustin Lee White, filed a lawsuit Oct. 21 in Kanawha Circuit Court against the Randolph County Board of Education and the West Virginia Board of Education, citing wrongful death.

According to the complaint, Dustin Lee White was a 17-year-old student at Tygarts Valley High School in Mill Creek on Oct. 26, 2012, when he was stabbed by another student named Thomas Vas at a school activity on school property. The complaint states that the injuries White sustained led to his death.

Dustin's father, plaintiff Kevin White, says the school was well aware of Vas' propensity for violence, including incidents in which he stabbed another student in the abdomen with a pencil, punched another student in the groin, repeated verbal threats to "jump" or "stab" other students, bringing a knife to school and an individual having a restraining order against him.

According to the lawsuit, the school was in possession of a video recording of Vas in a fight with another student, and the principal once escorted Vas to the school bus in response to threats that he would "jump" students after school, even offering to give a student a ride home in response to another of Vas' threats to "jump" the student.

Kevin White also says Vas made verbal threats to Dustin and another student on the day of the fatal stabbing. The school is accused of negligence and recklessness in failing to recognize the signs and evidence of Vas' violence, investigate complaints, remove Vas from the school, report Vas' stabbing of a student with a pencil to the appropriate authorities, provide proper supervision at school activities and respond to information of an imminent altercation on school property.

Kevin White seeks damages including medical and funeral expenses, interest and costs.

He is represented by attorneys James Graham Bordas III and Laura Pollard of Bordas and Bordas in Wheeling, and Dorwin John Wolfe of Wolfe Law Firm in Elkins.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1897

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