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Schools found immune from student lawsuits

Two lawsuits against the Roanoke County School Board alleging student mistreatment have been dismissed based on sovereign immunity.

Roanoke attorney Harvey Lutins, who filed both suits in Roanoke County Circuit Court, said on Friday that he intends to explore whether the cases can be pursued through other legal avenues, reports The Roanoke Times.

One suit involved an incident in which an autistic fourth-grader was punished by being made to clean two school bathrooms he had vandalized. The suit, filed on behalf of the boy’s mother, had asked for $100,000 in damages. A judge’s order signed Feb. 13 dismissed the case with prejudice.

The other lawsuit alleged that a middle school teacher had forcibly cut a 14-year-old’s hair during class, butchering his appearance and embarrassing him in front of his classmates. That suit had sought $51,000 in damages. Lutins said that the case has been dismissed on the same grounds.

By Sarah Rodriguez

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