Student Settles Lawsuit Over Yearbook Captions

LYNDHURST, Ohio (AP) - A student suspended for putting derogatory captions in a high school yearbook has settled his lawsuit with the school district.

The Brush High School junior sued after he was disciplined for identifying a black student as "Blacky" in a cross country team photo. He identified seven other students in the cross country photo and a tennis team photo as "weirdo" and other degrading names.

The student's attorney, George S. Crisci, said the case, filed June 4 in U.S. District Court, had been dismissed. The terms of the settlement were confidential.

The student, who is white, sued the school district in part for releasing his name to the news media, causing him "embarrassment, shame, humiliation, pain ... severe emotional trauma."

He also claimed in the suit that he never meant for the fictitious names to be published in the yearbook. He accused the yearbook adviser and student coeditor of breaching their proofreading duties.

The student was seeking a revocation of his suspension and $100,000 in damages.

Crisci would not say whether his client, who was suspended from school for 10 days, would attend Brush in the fall.

Superintendent William Zelei did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

C. Randolph Keller, attorney for the student referred to as "Blacky," also is seeking an out-of-court settlement, including monetary damages.

If no agreement is reached, Keller said he will take legal action against the district and the student who wrote the captions.

The 700 yearbooks were recalled, and corrected copies were being passed out to students.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)