CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County woman claims her daughter was assaulted by a substitute teacher at Cedar Grove Elementary School.
Ruth Oliver filed a lawsuit July 31 in Kanawha Circuit Court on behalf of her daughter, known only as "C.C.", against the Kanawha County Board of Education, county Superintendent Ronald Duerring and William Russell.
Oliver says on May 4, 2005, Russell was the substitute teacher for her daughter's class when he lost control.
She says he asked the students to take out their English books, but when they didn't comply in time he approached C.C.
"Defendant Russell became extremely violent and lifted the small girl out of her chair, leaving bruises on her," the complaint says. "He then violently threw C.C. into a wall approximately 10-15 feet away. When Defendant Russell threw C.C., her hair was caught on the leg and was thrown with her, causing more bruising."
The complaint adds that the other students began screaming and crying and that Russell would not allow C.C. to leave the classroom during the day.
Other students, it says, told Russell they needed to use the bathroom but instead reported the incident to the school's office, though nothing was done.
Afterward, Oliver claims Russell committed battery on another student in the school's hallway. She says C.C. returned home in pain with visible bruises and swelling.
In an earlier incident, she alleges Russell threw a pencil at C.C. and made racial remarks to the other students.
"The plaintiffs have suffered trauma, embarrassment, humiliation, annoyance, confusion, economic loss and irreparable harm due to the actions of all the defendants," the complaint says.
It also says that Russell is a former principal who was demoted to substitute teacher because of his reckless acts toward children. In 2002, it was reported that Russell, while principal at Chesapeake Elementary School, put three students on a bus that ended up five miles from their house when their ride was unable to show up after school because of a flat tire.
The bus dropped them off at Marmet Elementary School, and they wandered across the street to a gas station because they were hungry.
When one of the children's aunt attempted to picked them up at Chesapeake, Russell would not release them into her custody. Instead he told her to follow the bus to Marmet, according to a story in the Charleston Gazette.
Four years later, Russell is again in hot water.
"As a result of the effects of the trauma suffered by C.C., as well as the retaliation and harassment she suffered at school as a result of the incidents, the plaintiffs were forced to move out of town, away from the school system," the complaint says.
Oliver is seeking compensatory damages for personal injury, mental and emotional distress, economic loss and pain and suffering, as well as court costs and punitive damages.
Cynthia Evans of Charleston is representing the plaintiffs.
Judge Paul Zakaib has been assigned the case.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1500