Mother sues school board for negligence after Louisiana high school student is attacked and hospitalized

A Louisiana mother whose son was the victim of an unprovoked attack is suing the school district for negligence.

Chase Hart Jr., a junior at Livonia High School, was attacked On Sept. 7 by two students while he was sleeping with his head down on a desk, leaving him bleeding and unconscious on the classroom floor.

It was one of 12 violent incidents in the Pointe Coupee Parish district since August, said Superintendent Kim Canezaro. Ten of those were at Livonia High.

“That shouldn’t have happened,” said Reshell Edwards, Chase’s mother. “I just feel like my son wasn’t protected, and he should have been protected. It really shouldn’t have happened.”

The lawsuit filed against the school board alleges failure to take reasonable action to protect students, failure to supervise students, failure to discipline students, failure to warn parents of the potential danger, and failure to adequately train school staff.

“Hope that kids in Pointe Coupee Parish can go to school without worrying that they’re going to get stabbed, beat up, knocked unconscious,” said Ross Leblanc, attorney for the plaintiff.

The school board spoke out against the violence, but did not present a compelling solution.

“Expulsion should be the last option,” said Chad Aguillard, a school board member. “We will not turn our back on any child, but what we cannot do is allow a situation where a few students impact a large group majority of the school population.”

It’s the latest in an increase in criminal activity in the Pointe Coupee community.

In August, a major drug bust led to 12 arrests and the confiscation of $600,000 worth of drugs.

Additionally, Capt. Nicholas Gremillion of the Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office said he’s seen an increase in child abuse since the pandemic.

Edwards’ lawsuit, filed Dec. 7, cites multiple damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, disability and wage loss.