Boardman mom files lawsuit against teacher, district and former aide

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Boardman schools

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The mother of a special needs student in Boardman has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Boardman Schools, a special needs teacher and a former aide.

The case began early this year when Sheli Myers accused former special needs aide Kieran Curl of attempting to staple a note to the 11-year-old boy’s hair, but a staple struck the back of his neck, causing a red mark and scabbing.

According to a police report, the note was meant to remind the student to bring a water bottle from home. The student had asked the teacher several times for a water bottle, the report stated.

The federal lawsuit was filed by Myers on October 29 naming Curl, special needs teacher Patricia Passarelli and the Boardman Local School District.

The lawsuit alleges that Curl began physically and verbally abusing the student while under the supervision of Passarelli. Some comments allegedly made to the student, such as “Mrs. Passarelli doesn’t deserve you two and you don’t even belong here,” were when Passarelli was out of the room, according to court documents.

According to court documents, Myers contacted Passarelli about Curl’s behavior in this instance and others and was told that it would be addressed, but Myers contends that the verbal abuse continued, including allegations that the boy was smacked on the back of the head. Another comment allegedly to have been made by Curl was, “don’t make me get my hammer out of my truck.”

Myers said because her child is autistic, he does not understand language that is meant as a joke or sarcasm and that Curl should know that.

The events culminated on Jan. 19, 2021, when the student requested water and Curl allegedly became angry because he was told multiple times to bring a water bottle to class. At that time, Myers claims that Curl attempted to staple the note to the boy’s hair and that staples became lodged in the boy’s scalp and neck area as a result, according to court documents.

An investigation by police and the school revealed that the note was stapled to the child’s hair and not his head and that criminal charges would not be filed but that Curl had to resign, which she did.

Myers says her son has suffered “severe physical, mental and emotional pain and suffering, developmental delays, regression, disruptive behavior and further complications associated with his autism disorder and conditions.

Myers is seeking unspecified compensatory damages, legal fees and punitive damages.

A response from the defendants has not been filed as of this report. WKBN 27 First News reached out to school officials but they do not have a comment at this time.

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