Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

T.S. v. Talladega County Board of Education

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Eastern Division

July 24, 2018

T.S., a minor, by and through his parents and legal guardians, TROY STEPHENSON and MISTY STEPHENSON, Plaintiff,
v.
TALLADEGA COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ANNEMARIE CARNEY AXON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff T.S., a minor, by and through his parents and legal guardians, Troy Stephenson and Misty Stephenson, claims that his assistant principal corporally punished him for writing President Donald Trump's name on a classroom chalkboard when T.S. was in 8th grade at Childersburg Middle School. T.S. asserts 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law claims against Defendants Talladega County Board of Education, Michael Bynum, and Anita Foy.

         Before the court is Defendant Anita Foy's motion for partial dismissal of T.S.'s claims against her. (Doc. 28). The court entered a briefing schedule on the motion and ordered T.S. to respond on or before July 5, 2018. (Doc. 30). T.S. did not file a response. On July 10, 2018, Ms. Foy filed a reply in support of her motion to dismiss. (Doc. 31). The court considers the motion ripe for adjudication because T.S. has had adequate time to prepare a substantive response.

         For the reasons explained below, the court GRANTS Ms. Foy's motion.

         I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Pursuant to Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 12(b)(6) enables a defendant to move to dismiss a complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).

         To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A plausible claim for relief requires “enough fact[s] to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence” to support the claim. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556. A complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, but a complaint must contain “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         When resolving a motion to dismiss, the court must “accept[] the allegations in the complaint as true and constru[e] them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Miljkovic v. Shafritz & Dinkin, P.A., 791 F.3d 1291, 1297 (11th Cir. 2015) (quoting Hill v. White, 321 F.3d 1334, 1335 (11th Cir. 2003) (per curiam)). Although the court must accept well-pleaded facts as true, the court is “not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         II. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On April 27, 2018, the court granted in part and denied in part the Defendants' motions to dismiss T.S.'s original complaint. (Doc. 23). The court ordered T.S. to file, on or before May 11, 2018, an amended complaint that “clearly sets out the factual basis for holding each remaining Defendant liable for any claim made against them.” (Doc. 23, p. 11). On May 9, 2018, T.S. filed an amended complaint which is now the operative pleading. (Doc. 24).

         According to the amended complaint, during the 2016-17 school year, T.S. was a student in Ms. Foy's 8th grade class at Childersburg Middle School. (Doc. 24, ¶ 8). On November 10, 2016, two days after the 2016 United States presidential election, T.S. wrote President-Elect Donald Trump's last name on the classroom chalkboard or whiteboard. (Doc. 24, ¶ 9). Ms. Foy sent T.S. to the principal's office. (Doc. 24, ¶ 9). Ms. Foy or Assistant Principal Michael Bynum called T.S.'s parents and told them that T.S. “was going to be corporally punished for writing ‘Trump' on the classroom board.” (Doc. 24, ¶ 10). T.S.'s parents did not consent to corporal punishment and expressly asked the school not to punish T.S. in this manner. (Doc. 24, ¶ 10).

         Despite his parents' request, Mr. Bynum “administered corporal punishment to T.S. by paddling him on his buttocks causing physical injury, shame and humiliation, emotional trauma and mental anguish.” (Doc. 24, ¶ 11). T.S. alleges that Mr. Bynum administered corporal punishment in violation of the Talladega County Schools Code of Conduct and Attendance. (Doc. 24, ¶¶ 12-14). Section VII of the Code of Conduct and Attendance states:

Each classroom teacher will deal with general classroom disruption by utilizing in-class disciplinary measures, by telephoning the parent(s) of record or guardian(s) when feasible. Only when the action taken by the teacher is ineffective, or the disruption is severe, shall the student be referred to the principal or his/her designee.

(Doc. 24, ¶ 13). Section IX of the Code of Conduct and Attendance provides that “[c]orporal punishment shall be administered on a limited basis and only after other forms of punishment have been tried and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.