PARMA, Ohio (WOIO) - A Parma family has filed a lawsuit in United States District Court against the Parma City School District and a school resource officer, who they say lied about an incident that led to their disabled son being suspended from school.
The resource officer claimed the boy sprayed his own face and clothes with a juice box while waiting for the principal, after the student had been forcibly removed from a classroom, according to the lawsuit.
A lawyer for the family, Jared Klebanow, provided 19 News with audio that he says contradicts the claims of the school resource officer.
The audio, Klenbanow says, was a recording of a conversation between a whistle-blower and another school resource officer, who was present during the incident.
“Tony stuck the straw in and then took a sip and then gave it to the kid. The kid went to squirt it and Tony ripped it out of the kid’s hand and sprayed the juice bottle all over this little kid.”
Klebanow says the family filed the lawsuit because they do not want this to happen to any other families of disabled children.
“These are the people who are supposed to be watching out for our children and making sure they’re safe, not the ones bullying, harassing, and discriminating against these children,” Klebanow says.
The lawsuit also makes claims that the school resource officers harass the young man, because even though he is an American citizen, he is of Arab ethnicity.
The Parma school district released a statement to 19 News in response to the suit: