EXCLUSIVE: Two Lawsuits Filed Against Washoe County School District
Disabled students contend they were subjected to discrimination, bullying, violence and related abuse on school grounds
By Megan Barth, March 20, 2023 8:46 am
Attorneys Joey Gilbert and Sigal Chattah have filed two separate law suits against the Washoe County School District (WCSD), the Board of Trustees, and Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield on behalf of minors and their guardians claiming “neglect and deliberate indifference in their tolerance for discrimination and bullying and their failure to protect a child with disabilities from the related abuse and violence on school grounds” citing numerous violations of state and federal law.
In the first lawsuit (see below), the plaintiff’s contend that that Defendants “violated Minor Plaintiff’s constitutional right to equal protection, and the educational benefits afforded to him under the law” whereby a 9-10 year old plaintiff with known disabilities was “subjected to sexual and physical assault that resulted in a concussion, cumulative trauma, neurological damage, aggravation of his disability, and emotional distress.”
According to the claim, the disabled student was subject to the following abuses while attending Jerry Whitehead Elementary school:
Excessive and demeaning acts and bullying.
Assault and battery by his classmates:
On or around February 23, 2022, Minor was assaulted twice by a minor student aggressor, where the minor student first trapped Minor in the bathroom, put his hands around his throat and choked him, chased him with a pencil and threatened to stab him, and then later, found Minor at the park adjacent to the school and again assaulted him, grabbing Minor by the throat and again trying to choke him.
Sexual assault, sexual violation.
Discrimination, to include sexual harassment, daily taunting by students, mocking his clothing, accessories, behavior, and belittling him based upon his perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.
Additional physical and sexual assault and battery by the minor student abuser.
Discrimination on the basis of his sex and disability by the School’s employees.
Retaliation due to parental notification of this abhorrent and disgusting behavior.
“Defendants’ negligent actions, and their deliberate indifference to Minor Plaintiff, shocks the conscience and demonstrates a discriminatory and dangerous environment found within the Washoe County School District,” the lawsuit contends.
The second lawsuit (see below) was filed on behalf of a disabled 12 year old student attending 7th grade at Dilworth Stem Academy in Sparks, NV.
The lawsuit alleges that the disabled student was the victim of assault and battery by his teacher.
The allegations include:
Excessive and demeaning act and expression of bullying and harassment
Assault and battery by his teacher.
On or around September 21, 2022, Minor Plaintiff was bullied, harassed, discriminated against, and physically assaulted and battered by WCSD teacher Michael Ismari.
Discrimination on the basis of his race, where Defendants failed to treat Minor Plaintiff as a student with a disability, and instead resorted only to using discriminatory discipline and aversive intervention, segregation, and removal.
Discrimination on the basis of his disability, where Defendants failed to develop, implement, and maintain an adequate IEP, failed to provide him with services, support, aids, and assistance, and resorted only to using discriminatory discipline and aversive intervention, segregation, and removal.
The lawsuit reveals that Mr. Ismari “targeted Minor Plaintiff because of his race and specific disability because he struggles with controlling his anger, which is why Ismari antagonized him. Ismari has a history of targeting students, especially male students of color, where Ismari would follow and antagonize them, knowing they have disabilities and difficult behaviors.”
“Ismari has a disciplinary record that starts as early as 2011, where he was alleged, on numerous occasions, over many years, to have exhibited unprofessional behavior, and carried out unacceptable conduct, been insubordinate, failed to follow established guidelines, directives, and protocols, where Ismari showed inadequate performance, and violated WCSD administrative guidelines for a safe and respectful learning environment….Mr. Ismari was investigated for the same on at least: March 2011, September 2011, November 2011, September 2012, November 2013, and May 2014,” the lawsuit claims.
Atty. Gilbert told The Globe:
“The Nevada Department of Education’s (DOE) professional incompetence and callous, immoral disregard for half-a-million public school students is literally threatening their lives and our entire state’s future. This unconscionable situation cannot be allowed to continue.
For over a decade our DOE has criminally defrauded millions of innocent, trusting children and their parents, reaping tens of billions of dollars. They are promising a quality education while delivering one of the highest functionally illiterate rates in the developed world and promising students a safe, secure learning environment while delivering drug-saturated campuses with ungovernable chaos and lethal levels of violence and crime.
For the sake of every school-age child and our entire state’s future, we are forced to resort to comprehensive, legal action, individually and collectively, to expose this situation and bring forward the changes needed to correct it.”Complaint 1 (1)
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One thought on “EXCLUSIVE: Two Lawsuits Filed Against Washoe County School District”
this is not the 1st teacher at Dilworth that has had disciplinary issues on their teaching record. I am very involved with my kids schools and the principal at Dilworth should be relieved of his duties in my opinion.