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Victim’s parents sue over school bus assault

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Posted: Friday, March 2, 2012 9:00 pm

The assault of freshman football players on a Glacier High School bus is once again in the spotlight.

Parents of one of the victims have filed a lawsuit in Lake County District Court alleging 11 counts of various forms of negligence as well as loss of consortium, emotional and mental distress and punitive damages connected to the Sept. 12, 2011, incident.

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          Welcome to the discussion.

          35 comments:

          • micmren posted at 11:19 am on Mon, Apr 9, 2012.

            micmren Posts: 182

            Wow wrote: "Instead of name calling and mud flinging should we be teaching much more valuable life lessons through our own actions like: acceptance, forgiveness, tolerance and community?" while referring to both the alleged sexual deviants and those that were attacked. I wonder if "wow" took the time to truly imagine what the victims of this crime went through. Imagine being held down, your mouth covered, under a pile of kids, being sexually assaulted. Now, imagine what type of thoughts might be going through your mind as an attacker. Can you imagine? I really can't. I believe in forgiveness and hope that eventually the victims can forgive for their own good, but now is not the time for that. Now is the time to ensure we do everything in our power to stop this from happening again. It is NOT time to TOLERATE or accept what has happened. Wow was right that we can teach the victims and attackers about community. Lets come together as a community and make sure every person who failed in their responsibilities is properly disciplined. Let’s complain loudly when the attack gets plead down to a disorderly conduct charge. That’s disgusting. It’s bad enough it was allowed to happen but now we know we’ve put people in charge who won’t even do right after the fact. It’s time to do right by our kids. Those responsible for this mess need to go.

             
          • Dice posted at 8:53 pm on Mon, Mar 12, 2012.

            Dice Posts: 3

            If the adults in charge continue to "under react" to "hazing" situations that are criminal, where does that leave our children? Thank goodness the "offended" have parents who didn't "tolerate" or "accept" School District 5's gross negligence. I hope most of the parents have a brain in their head not to teach "tolerance" or "acceptance" for sexual assault as "wow" would want you to do. Maybe after you're sexually assualted you and your offender could just sing Kumbya together and it would all go away. That way the adults in charge wouldn't have to make really, really hard decisions. Like, keeping the offenders away from the people they abused or NOT tolerating hazing period.
            And most certainly, those parents are teaching their "offended" children perserverance in the face of adversity! When the school board, superintendent and administration can't do the "right" thing on their own, they put a little more pressure on them to get it right.
            Way to go parents! I applaud you for teaching your kids to take a stand for the right, no matter how hard it is or how many feathers get ruffled. We NEED more people in our community standing up for values! Hazing is WRONG. Sexual Assault is WRONG. Putting those kids back in the same school and classes for their rest of their high school career is WRONG! Need I go on with all the WRONG that has occured here? I think not! I'm thinking those parents are sleeping well, maybe not so much the "community leaders" who didn't do the RIGHT thing in the first place.

             
          • wow posted at 2:28 pm on Fri, Mar 9, 2012.

            wow Posts: 6

            Amen, ponymt!
            May your words be read by all the bloggers who share this space. Perhaps they will also pick up a copy of Mac Bledsoe's book. It sounds like you've been to one of his classes and most of those on this blog could learn a little something about tolerance, high moral standards and outstanding character from Mac's parenting wisdom. I'm hoping that as a community we can lift up all of our children instead of assigning labels (victims vs the accused) and tearing them down. If we don't we'll end up with six more victim. Soon, all of these15 years olds will be responsible for coaching little league, running our city government and attending PTA meetings together in Kalispell. Instead of name calling and mud flinging should we be teaching much more valuable life lessons through our own actions like: acceptance, forgiveness, tolerance and community? Several have made mention, in an upset tone below that the accused are lifting weights and playing basketball. Of course they are, all of these boys (both "sides") are continuing to move on with their lives and thank goodness. Fortunately, the kids have a will to succeed regardless of how the legal system or bloggers try to pull them down. It's called perseverance in the face of adversity and hopefully, this is another one of those life skills that we teach our children! You fall down and you get back up!

             
          • Cp posted at 7:14 am on Fri, Mar 9, 2012.

            Cp Posts: 1

            I have followed this story from the beginning. My heart breaks for the victims and their families. I also have some compassion for the family of the bully. Kids make mistakes.
            That being said...... I know of bullying that is going on at the kalispell middle school. The parent of the victim has called the school repeatedly and is being blown off.. This bullying that I am speaking about has happened AFTER the bus incident. Come on School Districi 5 ! What is going on here? You would think that after this horrific bus incident that this District would be hyper- sensitive to bullying. Shame on the counselors and administration of this school. Do you think what that bully did on the bus was his first offense? I highly doubt it ? This problem needs to be addressed and ACTIVELY dealt with in the lower grades.
            Wake up and do the right thing.

             
          • ponymt posted at 6:18 pm on Wed, Mar 7, 2012.

            ponymt Posts: 30

            At the onset let me state that I believe the hazing this group of six boys subjected some of their teammates to was wrong, mean spirited and inappropriate. I have followed this story in the media from its beginning and read most, if not all of the comments that have been posted, and with few exceptions they have all been reactionary in nature to veering degrees. This is understandable and not at all surprising for who is there among us that can’t empathize with or relate to the victims? Who can’t think back to a time in their own life when they were mistreated, harassed or bullied? This is a cruel and unfortunate reality of life, but it is life.

            As parents it’s natural for us to want to protect and shield our children from all forms of pain, and yet from our own exspernce we know this is neither possible nor practical. And so, throughout their childhood and adolescents we try to prepare them by teaching them how to best respond to pain. As toddlers they exspernce pain when they fall repeatedly while they’re learning to walk. We help them up, comfort them and encourage them to try again. Soon after, we’re applying medicine and band-aids to their cuts and scraps as we help them get back on their bikes to try again. Latter on we teach them how to respond to the pain that comes from not getting an invitation to a sleepover, the hurt from a careless word of a friend, and then the pain that comes with their first break-up. It’s a long training process we call “building character” and at times, is more difficult for the parent than the child, but the results are immeasurable. It gives them the ability to stand for what is right and how to handle peer pressure. Through pain our children develop the resolve to not just endure, but rather to persevere in the face of adversity.

            The point is, as parents and as adults we should be the voice of reason here, providing a balanced and measured response rather than an emotional knee-jerk reaction. There is a direct correlation between how a child reacts after they fall and get bloodied, to how the parent responds. If the parent gets hysterical so will the child, but if the parent responds in a calm manor, most often the child’s response will build off of the parents. I don’t say this lightly for I myself was a victim of a heinous crime of the abusive nature when I was a child, however I lived through it not as a victim, but as one who overcame. What transpired was absolutely wrong, and the guilty should be held accountable and punished, but if the adults involved overreact it could prove to be more detrimental to the victims.

             
          • navy4life posted at 10:37 am on Wed, Mar 7, 2012.

            navy4life Posts: 18

            I remember attending the bus for school events such as going to the falthead lake bible camp with choir and what not which had slater and the rest of the crew attending and you think nothing happened on that bus. There were kids bringing whiskey and vodka and smoking pot in the back of the bus. it doesnt matter what extra curricular activity it is there are always going to be kids beating up on one another or trying to inflict pain on one another its life. My parents said if that happens to you dont come crying to us and all you have to do is fight back and sure enough its over. the day continues on like normal.

             
          • mrknowitall posted at 1:27 am on Tue, Mar 6, 2012.

            mrknowitall Posts: 78

            Every person who has ever been to a public school has been picked on and made fun of at one time or another. Big deal. Parents tell your kids" If someone messes with you ; Walk Away. If that same someone follows you or touches you again. Punch them in the nose! Don't be a tattle tale and go running to the duty teacher. Everyone hates a tattle tale. Maybe if the school bully got his nose broke from time to time it would cure him of messing with people. Teach kids to stick up for themselves and that its OK to fight back. Its a fact that the kid being a bully will 9 times out of 10 back down when called on his crap. Let the kids work it out between themselves. Teach your kids to be nicer than is called for but never let anyone push them around. Screw that. If I was a teacher and someone ran up to me and said the school bully just got his nose broke I would say GOOD! He had it coming!

             
          • photoguy posted at 6:21 pm on Mon, Mar 5, 2012.

            photoguy Posts: 940

            Snapping each other in the rear with towels is hazing, trying to penetrate another with a digit is sexual assault, both are mistakes, but each has a different level of severity in punishment. This was not just a mistake, it was an attack and such should be treated appropriately. The judgment in this case is to lenient for the crime perpetrated. The school district and the legal system has failed those who expect them to do their job. The administration of schools in this valley has become a laughable joke to those who surround us.

             
          • exbrave posted at 6:05 pm on Mon, Mar 5, 2012.

            exbrave Posts: 15

            There are many good points here for both sides of this arguement. First off the boys have been punished for their actions. They are decent YOUNG freshman boys. And yes even though it was inappropriate behavior and should not be tolerated each one of us has to remember we made mistakes when we were young. Especially young boys on a freshman football bus. But theyse boys are paying for their mistakes. On the other hand the coaches should be held with responsibility. They should have been supervising more thoroughly. But in their defense, they cant just be staring at the kids the whole time. From personal experience riding on bus trips a couple years ago they were usualy quiet as most kids just fell asleep so there was no need to being watching intently. But at the same time the coaches should have checked more frequently. P.S. I also believe Dennehy is being "involved" in quite a few incididents latley, it may be time for him to get a hard evaluation at his job performance.

             
          • sunrise777 posted at 1:51 pm on Mon, Mar 5, 2012.

            sunrise777 Posts: 16

            I agree that the democratic system certainly needs to have an interactive dialogue to be effective, and I absolutely believe that the school district should be held accountable for its actions and spending. However, I believe that when a claim is made such as big donors kids have a separate set of policies just for them, or that district officials are stealing money, you should have to provide some evidence. These claims, when unsupported, cheapen the dialogue of what needs to be argued, such as an effective anti-bullying policy. I support your right to complain, but if we stick to what we know, and not rumors, I believe the democratic process would be better served.

             
          • photoguy posted at 5:34 am on Mon, Mar 5, 2012.

            photoguy Posts: 940

            My right to complain is preserved my payment of the property taxes on my property, I don't give that right up if I don't vote, although I will vote in this and every other school levy election as I have in the past. I have not seen anyone on this subject claim they have all of the answers, but many of us have identified some of the problems.

             
          • truthspeaks posted at 5:47 pm on Sun, Mar 4, 2012.

            truthspeaks Posts: 121

            To Retiree, krispitopherson, eatnorthneighbor, mom and all the others out there who hate the school system and how it works.There are three positions on the SD #5 and one for the rural district up for reelection. since you all have the answers for all the problems just shut up and do something about it.

             
          • truthspeaks posted at 5:42 pm on Sun, Mar 4, 2012.

            truthspeaks Posts: 121

            Eastnorthneighbor...don't kid yourself that that unacceptable behavior doesn't happen on the band buses. There is a reason some trips were canceled last year and it wasn't lack of funding. The reason it didn't make big news is it was covered up. Helps alot when the major perps are administration, teacher, and big donars kids. Unacceptable behavior is in every extracurricular activity. Just like denial is there also.

             
          • sunrise777 posted at 4:08 pm on Sun, Mar 4, 2012.

            sunrise777 Posts: 16

            First of all, an incident like this has absolutely no relationship to gayness; it was a bullying incident plain and simple. It also has no relationship to how budgets are handled and distributed. It doesn't make sense to shoot down a levy created to invest in all kids (roof repairs, heating updates, technology) because a few individuals made a very bad decision. I agree that the incident could have been handled better, but please remember that the majority of the kids in Kalispell are terrific people who are very much a part of our community. Schools sometimes seem to be hiding something during incidents like this because the educational environment is a unique one requiring both assailant and victim be protected due to their age. I know bullying makes me angry too, but schools are still statistically one of the safer places in our society. I am not a teacher, but I taught in another state many years ago. If you really feel that GHS staff don't care about kids, I suggest you spend some time there.

             
          • SavageJoe posted at 4:02 pm on Sun, Mar 4, 2012.

            SavageJoe Posts: 8

            The county attorneys knew exactly what they were doing with all those cases, staying friendly with the people that give them large campaign contributions. Irregardless of what the county attorneys said the charges that were laid down on those young people do not have the same penalties. Simple assault is just that, simple. Sexual assault is a class onto itself, with jail time and having to REGISTER AS A SEXUAL OFFENDER. If Little Billy Bob was charged as a sexual predator he wouldn't get the recognition in sports that his parents so desperately want for him. He would forever after have to register as a sexual predator and have to inform all his neighbors that he is a sexual predator. Again, the judges will enforce the rule of law, but how impartial can someone be that has to raise money to be reelected.
            I will vote for the levee. The price of everything is going up and the schools are feeling that, services cost more. Yes there is a lot of miss use and waste in the system and a change of upper management is needed, VOTE accordingly!!! If the rep from your area is not for changing the system the way you think it should go then VOTE for the person you think you need there. If you will not do your DUTY and get out and VOTE you have given up your RIGHT to complain.

             
          • Partyer posted at 10:14 am on Sun, Mar 4, 2012.

            Partyer Posts: 685

            I've come to agree that sticking one's finger up his buddy's butt is pretty harmless behavior after growing up being told it's okay to be gay. We should have thought that message through a little before making it part of curriculum. Where do we draw the line now?

             
          • MT2112 posted at 8:31 am on Sun, Mar 4, 2012.

            MT2112 Posts: 7

            These worthless county attorneys never cease to amaze...how is a sexual assault considered disorderly conduct? These miscreants should be in prison, not back at Glacier HS.

             
          • Snow lover posted at 9:41 pm on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            Snow lover Posts: 29

            I agree with the people who say that Mark Dennehy should also be included in this lawsuit as he is in Charge of the sports program and I believe has said some dumb things. I believe that these people named in the lawsuit should loose their jobs as they have failed the public trust. Mark should also loose his job as he has to accept responsibility for his peoples actions. Too many questionable things have happened like the embezzling issue a few years back where I think he ( Mark Dennehy) escaped judgement on that issue!
            These are just my opinions, but we have been failed to much by this administration including money shortfalls and also building a new High school which they new this City could not support. There are just to many issues to cover but this issue with the students should have been dealt with better. Pay the pied piper and assume proper responsibility.

             
          • mtdawg posted at 4:29 pm on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            mtdawg Posts: 293

            I'm a little dismayed to see the bus driver's name being included. I'm pretty sure she was busy driving the bus and could not have safely monitored activities in the rear of the bus while keeping her eyes on the road. Thus the reason for the presence of the chaperones. Secondly, if student behavior has sunk to the level it apparently has then it's probably time to dump athletics and focus on education in the classroom. If students wish to participate in activities away from the school let the parents get them there and back. I have no kids in the district and I'm retired living on a fixed income. I'm still going to vote for the levy because we need to invest in the students. I just want to see it go for education, not sports.

             
          • EastNorth Neighbor posted at 4:08 pm on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            EastNorth Neighbor Posts: 33

            This type of incident does not occur on Mr. Barr's or Mr. Slater's band buses, and points to need for parent volunteers to chaperone athletic travel. Athletic trips should also be funded by coffee and fruit sales, as this current state of lawsuits and blaming is pathetic. I'm still voting for the levy, though I desire a greater chunk of change to be removed from athletics and put elsewhere.

             
          • photoguy posted at 4:02 pm on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            photoguy Posts: 940

            averagejoe, the only thing needed to start getting the levies to pass again, is smart and sound management from those in charge! They have been unable to do that for the last few years and the people who pay the bills have figured that out. That is the reason the levies are going down to defeat. If the kids are being affected, question those in control, not those who pay the bills!

             
          • janie posted at 3:19 pm on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            janie Posts: 174

            I hope this lawsuit is defined as coming out of the pockets of the individuals and not coming from the taxpayers
            and not insurance to protect them from lawsuit. The adults need to be held responsible as well as the teens and their families. That may drive the message home.

             
          • averagejoe posted at 1:01 pm on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            averagejoe Posts: 253

            This incident will be used by the anti public school people to prevent much needed levies from passing. The levies failing will only affect the kids in the district, it will not bring about change in administration at Glacier.
            Callie Langohr and Mark Dennehy will remain in charge.
            The best approach would be a petition to the School Board asking that Langohr be replaced and a new principal brought in. This would have to be someone new who has no ties to the area. A total new approach has to implemented at Glacier, they need to get away from the win at all cost "We are Glacier" attitude.
            Winning is important at the high school level, but there is a right way to win and a wrong way
            I agree that Darlene Schottle is no longer the person who should be running District 5 and she needs to retire. She has done a lot of good since she was hired but her time has passed.
            As far as Callie Langohr and Mark Dennehy, they both need to be terminated for gross negligence. If the the board is unwilling to do this replace the board.
            There are 4 openings for the District 5 board, 3 are from within the city and one is a rural position held by Ivan Lorentzen that is for the Cayuse Prairie, Creston, Fairmont- Egan area. I cannot run this year as the area I live in does not have an open seat but if something does not change I will run when it does.

             
          • mom posted at 10:39 am on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            mom Posts: 629

            I'm all for anything that continues to make a big deal out of the lack of discipline and respect shown by kids who should appreciate what is being done for them. I want a huge change in high school activities and if it takes a massive lawsuit to bring it about then bring it on. I personally will never vote to approve any more funding of any thing until I see better results. Let's start with a study of the "Character First" movement that I'm seeing at some institutions. I truly think that's where the future of our world has to begin. By bringing up better people. It has to start somewhere, sometime.
            Google "character first" and get started, folks.

             
          • retiree posted at 10:35 am on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            retiree Posts: 63

            This is great news and well reported. Should have some bearing when the levies come up in a couple of months (The ones SHOTTLE is trying so hard to pass again) REMEMBER!!!!!

             
          • krispistofferson posted at 9:42 am on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            krispistofferson Posts: 265

            You bet, let's make extra sure we nail those folks that were volunteering.

             
          • truthspeaks posted at 9:28 am on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            truthspeaks Posts: 121

            PS... Very glad the so called adults on the bus are FINALLY being held accountable. Dennehy's name should also be on the lawsuit as he is really the puppetmaster at Glacier.

             
          • truthspeaks posted at 9:26 am on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            truthspeaks Posts: 121

            I have said all along there were six kids involved in the bullying. Six should have been punished. Check out the Glacier freshman basketball roster and see who is playing basketball. For Langhor and Dennehey its all about sports and whose your daddy. "Common" kids do not matter.

             
          • Jeffak posted at 9:01 am on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            Jeffak Posts: 104

            It's great these parent feel their son as well as themselves will be strong enough to endure this lawsuit.
            Our local judges, county attorney and school board responded to this situation in one of the most absurd ways I have ever witnessed.
            You bet it's about the money, when the law is negligent in how they handle a case money is what it takes to get their attention, the higher the stakes, the more emphases.

            This case should be a slam-dunk win before any jury in the state.

            The best part of them winning their lawsuit will be that the school children of the Flathead valley will see that bullies can't get by with whatever they choose to do will little to no penalties and that there is recourse you can default to when school and county officials fail in their responsibilities.

             
          • krispistofferson posted at 8:30 am on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            krispistofferson Posts: 265

            It's not about money? And we're concerning about emotional and mental distress so let's see, we'll drag the story out into the public square, that should help!

             
          • volunteer firefighter posted at 7:53 am on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            volunteer firefighter Posts: 131

            I cant help but wonder how the reaction of all involved would be if the victims were female!! Im sure things would play out a lot differently.

             
          • Daas posted at 4:24 am on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            Daas Posts: 1

            I believe that "Anonymous" should be informed of this. They currently have a policy against this kind of behavior by anyone. The schools policy is absurd.

             
          • SteelCon posted at 2:13 am on Sat, Mar 3, 2012.

            SteelCon Posts: 42

            I Know several of the parents whose children were brutalized by these little animals.

            The school district under this principal LANGOHR and this Superintendent SCHOTTLE, have "supposedly" expelled leader rat, Logan Jones from Glacier and he is supposed to be going to Flathead H.S. But he stops by the gym and weight room at Glacier H.S. anytime he pleases with the full knowledge and acknowledgement of the principal and school superintendent.

            What part of "Common Sense" do these school officials LACKADAISICAL attitude fail to undertand?

            I hope someone is running for school suprintendent, once Schottle is replaced then the new School Supertendent can go to work on replacing Langohr, as Principal.

            Private corporations I work with know how to clean house when management gets as sloppy as this. But in the government? You almost have to move mountains just to fire one bum employee or in this case school principal. One of the many reasons government is so inefficient, costly, and wasteful is on display in this Glacier School example.

             
          • Red Green posted at 11:44 pm on Fri, Mar 2, 2012.

            Red Green Posts: 207

            This is an appropriate and needed lawsuit. The school district and that callous nincompoop super need to learn that their reckless, careless and inadequate management of this incident cannot go quietly into the dark. Unfortunately, the district's money is the public's money, but probably they are insured for this. And the suit names some of the administration personally so that's not public money.

            Look at the incidents in Bremerton, WA and Ohio. I couldn't in good conscience put my kids in public schools in this day and age. Who wants to go through metal detectors to enter the school building, but lately, nobody should go into a school building WITHOUT going through a metal detector. What a fabulous environment and message that sends, huh?

             
          • james posted at 11:04 pm on Fri, Mar 2, 2012.

            james Posts: 516

            Good, about time!

             

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