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Lawsuit Accuses Chicago School Of Negligence for Leaving Student Out in the Cold Without a Coat

— October 4, 2019

Fiske Elementary School in Chicago is in hot water after being sued by the family of a student over allegations school officials forced the student outside in the cold without a coat.

Fiske Elementary School and the Chicago city school system were recently hit with a lawsuit filed by the family of a 9-year-old student over allegations that the student was manhandled and forced out of the school building to stand in “40-degree weather without a coat.” According to the student’s mother, Yvonne Pinkston, officials at the elementary school tossed her son into the cold all by himself without allowing him to put a coat on over his short-sleeve shirt back in March. His crime? He allegedly complained about “being bullied by classmates,” according to the suit.

Downtown Chicago
Downtown Chicago; image courtesy of John Picken via Wikimedia Commons,

Pinkston and her family are represented by the Herbert Law Firm. Earlier on, the firm released disturbing surveillance video footage that showed a “security guard dragging the boy into the principal’s office and then forcing the fourth-grader out of the building as the school’s counselor and principal watched from nearby.

When commenting on the incident with her son, Pinkston said, “He went to all of the doors to see if they were open and all of the doors were locked…so he just sat there and he said he cried.”

According to the suit, eventually, school officials called 911 for an ambulance over claims that the child “had been scratching, biting and kicking.” Additionally, the school also reported the student missing, though the law firm pushed back and said the school “fabricated the entire story.” In a statement, the law firm said:

CPS officials at Fiske Elementary School lied to police after they shoved and pushed a nine-year-old boy onto the streets of Englewood, one of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods, with no coat in cold weather during the middle of the school day and claimed he was a ‘missing person who was violent. About 30 minutes later, police found the boy outside in the cold terrified and crying. The video shows that school officials lied.”

Pinkston added:

“I feel like everybody in the video that just sat there and just let it happen, nobody stopped it, someone needs to go to jail for it or something. That’s neglect. It’s endangerment. Anything could have happened to my son out there in that neighborhood.”

At the moment, the suit names three school officials, the city of Chicago, and the board of education, as defendants and argues the student, referred to as K.S. in the suit, was “subjected to a hostile educational environment.” It also alleges the school is guilty of “battery, excessive force and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” The suit further states:

“K.S.’s experience at Fiske has left him with lasting, emotional wounds. K.S. sees a psychologist weekly to help him overcome the trauma he endured at the hands of the school administrators at Fiske.”

When responded to the allegations, the Chicago Public School Board issued the following statement:

Every CPS student deserves access to a safe and welcoming school environment, and the district takes seriously all allegations of student harm. These allegations are deeply disturbing, and we are fully committed to holding accountable any adult whose actions could have endangered a student.”


Chicago school’s staff threw 9-year-old into the cold and reported him missing, lawsuit says

Mother sues Chicago school for putting her 9-year-old son outside in the cold

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