Students who were allegedly bullied by a Miami Trace School District teacher and teacher’s aide are pursuing legal action against the educators.
10 Investigates first told the story of Austin Cooper, who claimed he was called names and made fun of by teacher Christie Wilt and her aide Kelly Chaffins in November.
Cooper and another student filed lawsuits to against the educators, as well as superintendent Dan Roberts. The suit claims Wilt and Chaffins “acted in an extreme and outrageous manner by engaging in abusive conduct.”
Attorneys Brian Garvine and Dan Mordarski represent the students. They also represented a 14-year-old classmate, named Cheyanne, who was recorded allegedly being bullied by the educators.
“That’s not an easy thing, to have a teacher and a role model degrade you in front of classmates,” Garvine said.
After 10 Investigates exposed the story, it went national. The district settled the suit with Cheyanne and dismissed Chaffins, but Wilt kept her job.
“It's very surprising this district would stand behind Ms. Wilt and take as lenient action as they have,” Garvine said.
This time, the attorneys will have to prove their case without direct evidence from recordings. They will also face this finding from the Ohio Department of Education, which found so little evidence about the claims that "no disciplinary action will be pursued."
After the first lawsuit, Wilt was required to take an anti-bullying course.
“Christy Wilt has been wrongfully accused and portrayed by a broad brush of alleged actions she herself did not commit,” school district attorney Robert Judkins said in a statement. “As a result, she has been the victim of death threats and threats to her family that have had a devastating effect upon herself and her family.”
Mordarski said that he believed a jury would side with his clients.
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