Kelli Diaz
Someone Being Bullied
Female | Pittston, PA   United States
Parents file suit against Pittston Area, claim teacher bullied son
Bullying Type: Emotional
Posted By: BearBoy
3/28/13 6:48 AM
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The parents of a Pittston Area middle school student have filed a federal lawsuit against the district and its superintendent, claiming a teacher with prior disciplinary issues bullied the boy in September 2012.

Kelli Diaz, the middle school teacher under fire, accused the child of having the neuropsychiatric disorder Tourette Syndrome and then "verbally accosted" him, according to the suit filed.

In a confrontation with the boy, Diaz told him "It's day 13 and I can't stand you already" and warned him, "You're going to have the worst year ever. I'm not the only teacher who can't stand you," the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit, filed by Pittston-based attorney Cynthia Pollick, claims the district retaliated against the victim's parents after they made the allegations, forcing the child to be home-schooled for five months.

Read the lawsuit

“No teacher should be allowed to speak to a minor child in the manner Teacher Diaz did, nor should a teacher ever had the word Tourette’s fall from their mouth when that minor child does not suffer from the
same,” the lawsuit says.

District officials never updated the parents on the status of the investigation and never disclosed the "secret" settlement the district reached with Diaz, the suit says.

In addition to seeking monetary damages, the suit demands public disclosure of the "secret settlement agreement" with Diaz and for the child to be allowed back to school without having interaction with Diaz.
Reached on Wednesday afternoon, district solicitor Joseph Saporito confirmed Diaz is still working as a teacher, but declined to reveal information about the agreement. He said it included a confidentiality clause.

"The matter was resolved outside of the collective bargaining agreement," Saporito said.

He declined to discuss the lawsuit.

"I've not seen it and it's generally the district’s policy to not make a comment on pending litigation," Saporito said.

The three-count lawsuit alleges first amendment retaliation, negligent supervision and hiring, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The district and Superintendent Michael Garzella are named as defendants.

A secretary at the school said Garzella was not immediately available for comment Wednesday, as he was out of the office at an educational conference.

Diaz was in class Wednesday afternoon and not immediately available to speak, a staffer at the middle school said.

The lawsuit claims the district should have known about Diaz's "prior misconduct," which included "run-ins with minor students in which she acted inappropriately."

"Due to the defendant’s negligent supervision and hiring, plaintiffs were harmed by the minor child being verbally bullied and the aftermath," the suit said.


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Story Details

Name: Kelli Diaz
Age: N/A
Country: United States
Location: Pittston, PA
Gender: Female
Zodiac Sign: N/A
Maiden Name: N/A
Relationship Status: N/A
Profession: Education
Education level: N/A
University: N/A
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Tattoos: No

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