Saturday, August 14, 1999

Mother sues school over expulsion




BY JANE PRENDERGAST
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — An Elsmere mother is suing her daughter's former school, claiming the principal expelled the girl because she admitted she was sexually active.

        The woman accuses the Orchard Street Baptist Church, which operates Orchard Street Christian School, of wrongfully expelling the 15-year-old. She also says the school and Principal Charles Mericle intended to hurt her daughter and did so with a spirit of mischief.

        Mr. Mericle expelled the girl in May after asking her if she was sexually active, the suit said. When she said she was, she was kicked out of the school for “inappropriate conversation concerning moral issues,” the suit claims.

        The mother says that amounts to sexual harassment and sexual discrimination, the latter because male students are not expelled for the same reason. What the school did, her suit says, is “shocking to the conscious and sensibilities of ordinary persons.”

        She also alleges that the family was denied their rights to due process during the expulsion. She wants a jury trial and punitive damages.

        Officials of the school declined to comment Friday.

        The case was assigned to Kenton Circuit Judge Gregory Bartlett. No hearing date has been set.

       



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