Alex Wade
Someone Being Bullied
Male | Imlay City, MI   United States
Civil suit alleges bullying
Bullying Type: Emotional
Posted By: PowerTime
7/25/13 12:23 PM
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IMLAY CITY — The school district and four of its staff have been named in a lawsuit filed in Lapeer County Circuit Court in May by Alex Wade, a homeschooled student who participated in the school's marching band program last year. The teen's allegations include negligence, gross negligence and violation of the state's anti-bullying statute. At a school board meeting last fall, Alex's parents, Dwayne and Kathy Wade, said their son had been harassed and bullied by fellow students. The district launched an investigation but, according to Supt. Dr. Gary Richards' findings, there was no wrongdoing by any administrators or staff.

Greg Mair, an attorney with the Saginaw-based law firm, O'Neill, Wallace and Doyle, said he is representing the district and those staff members named in the suit-Richards, High School Principal Larry Cowger, High School Dean of Students Richard Cross and teacher Scott Pries. Mair was present at Monday's school board meeting to brief the board during a closed session and after that he spoke to the media.

"This is about money," Mair said, noting the plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages more than $25,000. In the name of conserving public funds, Mair said it would be irresponsible to try and resolve the case early on.

Somewhat surprisingly, six parents have also been named in the suit. They face allegations of negligence while school staff are accused of gross negligence.

"That is a tactic that is not normally employed," Mair said of including parents in an alleged bullying situation.

According to the suit, Wade is being represented by Oakland County-based attorney Jan Jeffrey Rubinstein.

The district was served with papers in mid-June and Mair said he filed his response with the courts on June 28. No new court date has been set but Mair anticipates the first time the parties appear before Judge Nick Holowka they'll be discussing discovery and, in particular, Wade's deposition. If the case proceeds to trial, Mair anticipates that could take place in the next 12-18 months.

The state's anti-bullying law took effect in January 2012 and required school districts to adopt and implement a policy that prohibits bullying. The law does not specify how schools should identify or deal with suspected bullying cases.

Last fall, the Wade family claimed that, among several things, Alex's instrument and sheet music were stolen while he was participating in marching band activities. School officials, after conducting student interviews, said there was no evidence related to the theft. Soon after the allegations were raised, administrators announced that the high school's band program launched a Take a Stand Against Bullies campaign.

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Story Details

Name: Alex Wade
Age: N/A
Country: United States
Location: Imlay City, MI
Gender: Male
Zodiac Sign: N/A
Maiden Name: N/A
Relationship Status: N/A
Profession: Other
Education level: N/A
University: N/A
Ethnicity: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Tattoos: No

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