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Suit: Naperville teacher hurt because violent student not expelled
By Rob Olmstead | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 7/31/2008 12:03 AM

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A teacher at White Eagle Elementary School in Naperville alleges district administrators let a violent student remain in school despite dozens of acts of violence against her and other teachers, only to have him seriously injure her later, a suit filed Wednesday alleges.

Paula Jackson is a special education support teacher in Indian Prairie Unit District 204 and has taught at White Eagle since 2003, according to the federal lawsuit filed by her lawyer, Peter S. Stamatis. She was first introduced to the student on the first day of the 2005-06 school year when the child got out of his mother's car and began to punch, kick and bite her outside the school, her suit contends. The two had never met before, it added.

That same year, the child, then a second-grader, punched his regular teacher, who was pregnant, in the stomach, the suit said. He also punched another student in the face, put Jackson's arm in a sling, injured her back, and threatened to murder both her and his own parents, the suit alleges.

Eventually, a conference was held with a recommendation to transfer the boy to a special therapeutic school outside the district equipped to handle him, according to the suit. Despite that recommendation, district lawyers advised the school to keep him. Thereafter, the child had 150 documented incidents of violence or aggression against faculty or students, the suit contends.

Eventually, on March 18, 2008, Jackson was called to deal with the boy when he threw a book at his teacher and began throwing chairs about the room, the suit said. Jackson grabbed a chair the boy was trying to throw at her, but he held tight and pushed, knocking her down and causing her to strike her head against a blackboard and the blackboard's ledge, the suit said.

The suit does not name the boy, nor does it say if he remains at the school. It was filed in federal court because it alleges violations of due process under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It seeks unspecified damages.

District 204 Superintendent Steven Daeschner declined to comment because of the pending litigation.