Family sues Wyoming Area over alleged bullying, seek Catholic school tuition

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]
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WILKES-BARRE — A lawsuit filed Monday suggests a former Wyoming Area high school student was so relentlessly bullied that she had to transfer to Catholic school, and that the district should pay her tuition.

The district and the then-high school principal are named as defendants, suggesting they didn’t do enough to help the girl.

The suit was filed Monday by the girl’s mother. Both members of the family are only referred to by their initials throughout the suit, but they are being represented by James J. Conaboy of the Abrahamsen, Conaboy & Abrahamsen law firm, based in Scranton.

District solicitor Jarrett Ferentino said he was aware of the situation, but that he had not yet read the filing Monday afternoon and could not comment.

According to the suit, the girl was bullied both physically and verbally throughout the 2015-2016 school year at the Wyoming Area Secondary School. Details in the suit are sparse concerning what sort of abuse she allegedly suffered, only alluding to “physical injuries” and mental abuse.

However, the suit goes on to suggest reports of the alleged bullying were forwarded to the high school principal at the time, Vito Quaglia. The district’s website shows Quaglia is now the elementary principal.

Quaglia, despite knowing about the bullying the girl was suffering, allegedly did nothing to stop the problems, failing to enforce the district’s anti-bullying policies.

The girl had to seek treatment from a social worker and a psychiatrist as a result of the bullying, the suit says. During treatment, it was suggested that she transfer to another school, leading to her enrolling at Holy Redeemer.

The plaintiff’s family is seeking compensation for numerous damages, including the suggestion that the school is in violation of the Individuals with Disability Education Act for failing to provide the girl a safe educational environment.

The suit does not state what sort of disability the girl has.

The family is seeking to have the girl’s tuition at Holy Redeemer paid for, in addition to other compensation.

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By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan