Federal lawsuit filed against school district and officials on behalf of 16-year-old girl

A federal lawsuit has been filed against Jefferson Schools in Monroe. The lawsuit also cites a teacher, principal and superintendent. The lawsuit was filed by the mother of 16 year-old Brianna Linkfield since Brianna is a minor.
The teen says back in March, she told school officials that her band teacher had duct taped a student's ankles to a chair in class.
"I was outraged and sickened by it and had to speak up because nobody else was going to," she says.
She says that teacher was put on leave for a week, but when he got back she felt harassed by him.
"It was sickening the way he would look me up and down," she says.
Action News asked if he had threatened her. Brianna said "No .. "I guess it was just the fear," she said.
Brianna said she felt intimidated and uncomfortable. Those are just some of the claims made in a 49 page lawsuit.
Linkfield claims other students who were in support of the teacher, started to bully her, but her complaints were ignored when she went to school officials.
"I would have expected them to do more to put an end to it," she says.
Michael Dorfman, Brianna's Attorney, says "All of these things needed to be addressed. The school and the teacher would not address it with us so this is the only avenue we could take."
The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $75,000.
Linkfield says she switched schools and has had to take anti-anxiety medication.
We tried to reach the teacher named in the lawsuit, but couldn't get in touch with him.
The superintendent sent us this statement in response to the lawsuit:
Jefferson Schools received notice that a complaint against the district has been filed in Federal Court. The district has referred the matter to legal counsel and will vigorously defend its position. Since this is a matter of litigation we cannot provide further information at this time. The safety and well-being of all of our students at Jefferson Schools is our top priority and we will do all we can to ensure that a safe, supportive learning environment is maintained at all times for all students.
Craig A. Haugen
Superintendent of Schools
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