Recently, it was announced that the state dismissed a lawsuit filed by an Irvington School Board teacher against the local school district. The lawsuit was filed by a special education teacher who claimed she sustained grievous injuries in an attacking leveled by one of her students several years ago. Special education students are often bused into Irvington School District in an effort to improve the education of children with special needs. Often, these students are prone to expressing extreme outrage and temper tantrums that place both students and staff at risk.
According to documents that were filed, that is exactly what happened to this special education teacher. The teacher claimed that she suffered an elbow injury at the hands of one of her students. According to her, this injury caused not only physical distress but also emotional and psychological trauma as well. The lawsuit claimed that the school district was liable for her injuries and was seeking compensation for the trauma she endured.
In extensive court filings, which included emails between this teacher and the school board, the teacher warned the school district about the temper tantrums this student was prone to expressing. The teacher also expressed fear for both the safety of staff and students because of this one student’s emotional lability. She claims that, despite the extensive email warnings, the school failed to take sufficient action to protect its students and staff from harm.
In contrast, the school district attorney claimed that the district was not liable for the injuries and further distress suffered by the teacher because the injuries and any complications stemming from the injury were related to work. Therefore, they were covered under the worker’s compensation agreements and statutes that this teacher presumably sought. In his decision, the state Supreme Court judge expressed his agreement with the argument put forth by the school district, saying the case was not properly before the court and would be dismissed.
The legal counsel for the teacher expressed his disappointment. He stated that he had hoped the court would see the case his way but that he was not done yet. He was discussing other options with his client, who continues her pursuit of compensation.