Two years after an alleged cheating scandal roiled an Oak Brook school, two federal judges have recently dismissed parts of lawsuits, while maintaining others, brought by two families who say the school district’s actions violated their rights.
In separate rulings issued recently, judges in the Chicago branch of federal court have dismissed some claims brought against Butler Elementary School District 53. But the judges refused to dismiss key parts of both suits, which were filed by families who the school says cheated by obtaining questions and answers to be used in academic contests, such as a geography bee....
...The Jain suit, brought on behalf of the family’s son, alleges the school district violated the student’s rights during its investigation of the alleged cheating incidents.
In a March 22 ruling, Judge Ronald Guzman dismissed several counts filed by the Jain family. However, the judge declined to dismiss a count alleging that the school district’s method of questioning the then 9-year-old constituted an illegal seizure.
Craig Sandberg, the attorney representing the family, said the student was subjected to a 90-minute interrogation from the school district superintendent, the principal and assistant principal without either of the child’s parents present.
The judge, in denying the district’s motion to dismiss, said the family had presented sufficient facts to support the claim that the method of questioning could have violated the child’s Fourth Amendment rights.
Sandberg said last week he was pleased with the court’s ruling. “We’re looking forward to proving our case in front of a jury.”....