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The original story is here somewhere but I couldn't find it. A lot of you will remember.

BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va. (WDVM) -- Two former teacher aides from Berkeley Heights Elementary School have filed a lawsuit against several media companies which broadcasted audio that was secretly recorded in the classroom.

Kristin Douty and June Yurish, who worked in a special needs classroom, filed the lawsuit against 17 media companies.

The audio recording came from a device that a seven-year-old student's mother, Amber Pack, hid in her daughter's hair, which captured verbal abuse. The Martinsburg Police Department received a complaint from Pack on October 5, 2018, that her child had been harassed by members of the school staff.

One part of the audio captured an adult saying: "I ought to backhand you right in your teeth. How's that for anxiety?"

The lawsuit filed by the former teacher aides claims that Pack's daughter "was not legally capable of consenting, was not offered the opportunity to give her consent, and did not, at any point, give actual consent," and that Pack "unlawfully disseminated" the recordings to various media groups.

Pack's Attorney, Ben Salango, said West Virginia is a one-party consent state and that courts all over the country have held that there's no reasonable expectation of privacy in a public classroom. One-party consent means conversations can be recorded as long as one person in the conversation is consenting.

Pack told WDVM in February that she complained to the school, but that administrators swept the incident under the rug. It wasn't until she posted the recording on social media that the school placed two employees on administrative leave, Pack said.

The Berkeley County Board of Education confirmed in a statement that both aides and the teacher involved, Christina Lester, were "no longer employed." In February, the Director of Berkeley County Schools, Elaine Bobo, confirmed the two aides put in their resignations.
[....] (Go to the link for a list of companies being sued.)
Since the investigation began, former Berkeley County Board of Education Superintendent Manny Arvon resigned, after parents complained during a school board meeting and called for the resignations of multiple officials.

Late last month, the Berkeley County Board of Education filed a counter-lawsuit against Amber Pack, claiming the recording is illegal and should be excluded from evidence in the case. On April 30, it was announced that the BOE voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit.

On Tuesday, the Attorney General of West Virginia, Patrick Morrisey, announced he is seeking additional charges against Berkeley Heights Principal Amber Boeckmann, Berkeley County Deputy Superintendent Margaret F. Kursey and the Berkeley County Board of Education.

When WDVM first reported the story in February, the Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Catie Wilkes Delligatti issued a statement:

"In the fall of 2018, Prosecuting Attorney Catie Wilkes Delligatti, along with her office’s victim’s advocate and investigator, met with Kasey Murphy and Amber Pack, the mothers of two children who had previously attended Berkeley Heights Elementary School. Ms. Pack provided an audio recording of eight hours in the classroom, which was thoroughly reviewed by Investigator Scott Dillon. Investigator Dillon found that the recording contained numerous instances of verbal abuse that are frankly unconscionable.

The audio recording had also been previously investigated by the Martinsburg City Police Department, and Chief Richards stated that his Department was unable to determine that the evidence met the elements of a criminal offense.
This is a perfect example of school districts not understanding that they serve the public; not the other way around.


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Sugar Cookie

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Suspecting her 6-year-old daughter with autism was being abused at school, a West Virginia mother hid a recording device in her daughter’s hair, court documents say. On Friday, the girl’s former teacher and two former aides were arrested, the state’s attorney general said.

Christina Lester, the former teacher, and June Yurish and Kristin Douty, former aides, were charged with misdemeanor failure to report abuse or neglect, according to a press release from West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Amber Pack was concerned when her daughter Adri came home with bruises from Berkeley Heights Elementary in October. The marks appeared to be pressure bruises from tight grips, said Ben Salango, an attorney for the Pack family.

Adri was nonverbal, but she would cry getting on the bus and didn’t want to leave the house. It was clear she didn’t want to go to school, the attorney said.

Pack bought a recording device and put it in Adri’s hair bun.

“She was absolutely shocked by what she heard,” Salango told CNN.

The teacher and aides at the Martinsburg school threatened Adri and other children, telling them they would hit them in the face and knock their teeth out, and they threatened to withhold food, Salango said.

“These arrests send a strong message — that child abuse will not be tolerated and must be reported,” Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a statement. “We must continue working to ensure vulnerable children are protected, especially at school.”

The attorney general filed a civil lawsuit in February that accused Lester, Yurish and Douty of verbally abusing the students by threatening physical violence. The comments on the recording “include threats of violence, verbal abuse and other outrages,” according to the complaint.

the Pack family is “very happy” that charges have been filed against the teacher and the two aides.

“We’re pleased that the prosecutor took her time, did a thorough investigation and decided to arrest the three individuals this morning,” the attorney said. “We’ve had faith in the system from the beginning and look forward to a disposition of criminal proceedings.”

Adri now happily goes to school, the attorney said. “She’s in a new school and is in a loving environment and doing much better,” Salango said.

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