A six-month investigation into the suicide of a 17-year-old high school student from Milton High School that led to the conviction of five football players on various charges has now led to a lawsuit against the school district as well as several administrators.
Milton High School, the Milton School District, Superintendent John Barone and Principal Anne Blake are all named as defendants in the lawsuit filed by the young man’s family. The lawsuit claims that the defendants failed to prevent the hazing and bullying of Jordan Preavy, who was a member of the Milton High School football team at the time.
Legal documents indicate that Jordan Preavy was the target of an assault by several of the other members of the football team, and that assault eventually lead to his death. The victim’s family has filed this lawsuit holding the school district and the named defendants responsible for not upholding their bullying and hazing policies to prevent the assault and the resulting hostile educational environment.
The lawsuit claims that the defendants had sufficient previous knowledge of the hazing traditions, which were long-standing among the football team. It goes on to assert that, despite this knowledge, no effort was made to protect the football players who were typically targets of this type of behavior.
According to the court records, the lawsuit doesn’t name a specific dollar amount that the family is seeking, but does ask that the courts order financial restitution for pain and suffering. It also asks the courts to take into consideration the emotional distress caused by the incident and the loss of dignity on the part of the victim after the assault. The family claims that the assault and hazing interfered with the victim’s ability to obtain an equal education because of the hostility of the environment after the trauma.
The School District Response
The report also indicates that the school’s now-retired athletic director and teacher-coach both attempted to report the incident, but did so directly to the principal and superintendent, who failed to act on the complaint. The superintendent is currently on paid leave pending the trial outcome with an interim superintendent being hired to fill the vacancy.