Civil rights lawsuit filed against Metamora Township High School - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Civil rights lawsuit filed against Metamora Township High School

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METAMORA, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

The Metamora Township High School board of education is being sued in federal court for allegedly violating a students' civil rights. 

The lawsuit was filed by attorney, Nina Gougis, on behalf of a plaintiff, who is unnamed in the lawsuit, but described as a 14-year-old freshman football player at the high school.

The lawsuit claims the school district is in violation of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because the school receives federal funds.

It cites a specific incident that took place on Sept. 23, 2017, that involved four freshman football team members recording a video where students can be heard making several "derogatory, racist, and inflammatory remarks" referring to the plaintiff in the video by name. 

The players then sent the video to the plaintiff that day who later notified his father on Sept. 25, 2017.

The suit contends that the high school did not discipline the players adequately and allowed further incidents to continue. 

The plaintiff's father asked the administration to suspend the players for the remainder of the season and banned from all extracurricular activities for the 2017-18 school year.

The suit claims that he was told by administrators that the punishment would be too harsh. 

The father was told that the players would not participate in a game later that week, but one of the student's in question did play in that game.

The lawsuit also refers to other specific incidents where the plaintiff believes that school administrators' were failing to recognize inappropriate behavior --  including ideal threats.

The plaintiff is demanding a trial by jury. 

Gougis told 25 news that they are seeking no less than 250,000 dollars. 

Sean O'Laughlin, Superintendent of Metamora Township High School said: "MTHS takes claims of bullying and discrimination very seriously" and will continue to fully investigate and review any claims and will take "appropriate action to address all such claims." 

O'Laughlin said that the high school was was not able to comment any further on pending litigation. "we strongly disagree with the claims in the lawsuit," said O'Laughlin

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