Friday, November 24, 2017
Education

Student targeted in 2013 attack at Calvin Hunsinger School sues Pinellas district

RECOMMENDED READING


It's been four years since Vanessa Chauvin left Calvin Hunsinger School in an ambulance after a classmate grabbed her ponytail and repeatedly kneed her stomach and face.

Fourteen years old at the time, she suffered a concussion, broken jaw and cracked eye socket. At the time, her parents vowed to sue the Pinellas County school district.

Chauvin, now 18, and her parents, LoriAnn and David Chauvin, have made good on that pledge with a lawsuit in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court against the district and the classmate who attacked her. Because the classmate is still a minor, she is being sued through her parents, identified as M.D. and P.D.

The suit, filed last week, seeks damages of over $15,000 for physical pain and suffering and medically related expenses. It alleges the School Board negligently failed to provide a safe environment for Chauvin and protect her from harassment on multiple occasions, and did not adequately supervise the student who attacked her. That student was walking out of in-school suspension when she attacked Chauvin. A male classmate recorded the beating and posted the video online.

The suit says the student had "an escalating and recidivist pattern of disruptive and aggressive conduct" at school, and was never properly disciplined by the School Board. In 2013, the district said the student would likely face suspension or expulsion.

District spokeswoman Melanie Parra said Friday the district had not received the complaint and could not comment.

The Chauvin family also is suing the student for battery and for suffering from the "loss of companionship, love, affection, solace and society of her child now and in the future."

Documents attached to the lawsuit show that John Thurber, the lawyer representing the Chauvin family, first filed claims against Calvin Hunsinger School one week after the February 2013 incident.

Neither Thurber nor the Chauvin family could be reached for comment.

Researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Colleen Wright at cwright@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8643. Follow @Colleen_Wright.

Comments
Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

A self-proclaimed Nazi is banned from the University of North Florida’s campus — but will remain a student, university officials said.Ken Parker, a 37-year-old Navy veteran who once served as the grand dragon, or highest-ranking leader, of the Ku Klu...
Published: 11/23/17
Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco schools brought home 20 top honors from the District 11 Junior Thespian Festival, which included 22 schools from Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Manatee counties and took place at the new River Ridge FAME Academy on Nov. 17 and ...
Published: 11/22/17
A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

LAND O’LAKES — Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco sat together several times in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving break, trading contract proposals amid (mostly) amicable conversation.They c...
Published: 11/22/17
Epilogue: Music professor Rita Osborn insisted that her students experience the arts live

Epilogue: Music professor Rita Osborn insisted that her students experience the arts live

The thousands of students who signed up for Rita Osborn’s music and humanities classes at St. Petersburg Junior College knew what they had to do to pass.They could study and memorize material for tests, but they wouldn’t earn more than a C if they di...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/23/17
When school is out, a Pinellas camp for autistic kids offers a much-needed service

When school is out, a Pinellas camp for autistic kids offers a much-needed service

ST. PETERSBURG — Matt Wiseman’s cellphone rings at least once a week, usually after 9 p.m., with a call from a desperate parent. The voice on the line is tired, defeated. Once again, their child was excluded from an after-school program or summer cam...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/23/17
USF professors honored as AAAS Fellows

USF professors honored as AAAS Fellows

Six University of South Florida professors whose research efforts span biology, engineering, chemistry and business have been selected as Fellows to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the organization announced Nov. 20.Election ...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

University of Central Florida suspends sorority for hazing

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A University of Central Florida sorority has been suspended after its members were accused of hazing, underage drinking and providing false information to law enforcement.The university placed Alpha Xi Delta on an interim suspens...
Published: 11/21/17
10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

Associated PressThe latest group of U.S. Rhodes scholars includes 10 African-Americans — the most ever in a single Rhodes class — as well as a transgender man and four students from colleges that had never had received the honor before. The Rhodes Tr...
Published: 11/19/17

Class notes

School Calendar• Nov. 27: School resumes after Thanksgiving break• Dec. 22: End of second grading quarter.• Dec. 23-Jan. 7: Winter Break.• Jan. 8: Teacher planning day. No school for students.Arts/Music/TheaterCenter for the Arts at River Ridge Middl...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/22/17
Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

River Ridge High School senior Connor Beckman has been named Pasco County’s 2018 Outstanding Senior.Commander of the school’s Air Force JROTC program, Beckman is also an Eagle Scout mentor, National Honor Society president and swim team captain.Beckm...
Published: 11/22/17