Family sues school board after son was abused by classmate

By Annie Cosby | Jan 29, 2015

CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County family is suing over claims their son was physically and sexually abused by a classmate.

R.B., a minor, by and through A.B., his mother and next friend, D.B., A.B., and H.B., individually, filed a lawsuit Dec. 8, 2014, in Kanawha Circuit Court against the Kanawha County Board of Education.

According to the complaint, R.B. was a 6-year-old student at Bridge Elementary in Kanawha County in 2013, when he began coming home with injuries caused by classmate, B.P., who was several years older and had past difficulties in a school environment. The complaint states R.B.'s parents contacted the school, who said nothing could be done and even punished R.B. once when he attempted to protect another classmate from B.P.'s bullying. The plaintiffs say the following summer, they discovered the sexual nature of B.P.'s conduct toward their son, including using overtly sexual language and putting his hand down R.B.'s pants, and learned the teacher was aware of such conduct and regularly punished B.P., but the school failed to expel him.

The plaintiffs say they were forced to home school R.B. when B.P. was again in his class the following year. The complaint states the school negligently failed to follow its own policies in expelling or removing B.P. to another school. The defendant is accused of negligence and infliction of emotional distress.

The plaintiffs seek damages, interest and attorney fees. They are represented by attorneys JB Akers of Akers Law Offices in Charleston, and Philip B. Hereford of Hereford & Riccardi in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-2134

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