Attorneys for an Oak Brook family and a now 11-year-old boy who was accused of planning to cheat during the 2016 National Geographic Bee regional competition at Brook Forest Elementary School say a judge's recent ruling puts the case on track for a fall trial.
The most recent amended complaint includes two constitutional and one state count related to the Butler Elementary District 53 administration's alleged unlawful seizure in its handling of the 9-year-old student. The broader statewide claim relates to alleged willful and wanton conduct by the district and district employees.
....Jain denies having access to GeoBee questions or information. She also says her registration with WordMasters Challenge as a home-school provider was a mistake because she didn't realize she could have registered as an individual.
Jain's attorney, Craig Sandberg, said he anticipates the case will go to trial this fall.
"We're marching ahead toward what will likely be a trial unless the district resolves the case," Sandberg said. "My clients certainly look forward to the opportunity to clear their names, as well as demonstrate what we contend is the maliciousness that accompanied the acts of the defendant."
The illegal seizure count, according to the suit, relates to the boy being pulled from class by three administrators and aggressively questioned for 90 minutes about academic dishonesty that administrators said was initiated by his mother. The suit alleges those administrators intimidated and belittled the student and told him he could not cry.
The willful and wanton count alleges the district failed to properly investigate the allegations of academic dishonesty, disclosed its "unfounded allegations and unwarranted punishment" to district families and staff and employed its law firm to conduct an "inherently biased and flawed investigation."....