High school students in one Connecticut classroom have allegedly been forced to go weeks without a math teacher, leading to a lawsuit against the school.
The Zandri family filed suit against H.C. Wilcox Technical High School and various state officials, claiming their daughter and several other students have been hurt by the lack of a geometry teacher since the beginning of the school year. The suit alleges a violation of the civil right to an education.
A demand letter was sent to the school in October to push it to hire a math teacher. The letter maintains students in Room B211 have been deprived of a teacher since the beginning of the semester, and that the substitute teacher provided does not teach geometry. In the absence of a math teacher, the suit says, the students have been assigned digital assignments that have been difficult to accomplish without a qualified teacher.
“It’s kind of frustrating for me because I know math is hard for me,” 11th-grade student Angela Zandri told TV station WFSB. “It’s difficult to teach yourself.”
The school claimed a finalist candidate was being considered to fill the position. However, that individual was not hired, and another teacher was merely moved from one class to another, leaving other students without a teacher.
Jason Zandri, Angela’s father, said the lack of a teacher has affected several students and families in the school.
“I want to make sure that people understand, it’s not just these two families,” he told WFSB. “It’s a class of 20 across four to five periods, across multiple days, and now other classes. This is a lot of students impacted. And they bring it back on the students not being able to perform. And it’s because they don’t have the instruction they need.”
The CT Technical Education and Career System said in a statement the suit “is misguided and we plan to defend against this case.”
Though the Zandris were the first to speak out, another family, the Herbsts, joined in the lawsuit. According to a press release from Atkinson Law, which represents the families, the suit will be a class action suit, representing the interests of “approximately 300 to 400 H.C. Wilcox Technical High School students.”
“I have never seen state officials stoop to such lows before to escape legal accountability for their actions and hide their wrongdoing at the expense of innocent children’s well-being and in derogation of their constitutional rights,” Attorney Cameron Atkinson said in the release. “In any sane world, these officials would have been fired weeks ago, and the state would have performed a top-to-bottom audit on Wilcox Tech’s compliance with the Constitution. We are confident that we will find much more sanity in the courts, and we will hold these officials legally accountable for their atrocious treatment of our children.”
Besides the hiring of a teacher, the plaintiffs want the students’ suffering grades dealt with, in addition to monetary damages.