School district settles with Amory parents

By Chris Wilson/Monroe Journal

AMORY – Parents of a West Amory Elementary second-grader who was unusually disciplined were awarded a $75,000 settlement from the school district.
Leigh Todd, the principal who disciplined their son, ultimately lost her job after hearings with the school board.
The settlement was finalized in Monroe County Chancery Court last week. The boy’s parents, Johnny and Regina Frederick of the Wren community, through their attorney, Jamie Franks, earlier had filed a 90-day letter of intent with the courts seeking damages of $500,000 from the Amory School District and its former principal.
In March, their son, a special education student, was sent to Todd’s office for sticking his tongue out at his teacher in class and other misbehavior. Todd had kept the child with her throughout that school day, making him keep his tongue stuck out for most of the remainder of the day. She occasionally popped him with a ruler to make him keep his tongue out and had taken him to staff meetings with her.
Todd was asked to resign from her position as principal for the punishment. An appeal hearing was held for three days in April and the school board terminated her job.
The notice filed by Franks for the parents stated their son had suffered physical and psychological injuries, pain and suffering, humiliation and other damages as a result of his punishment. The school district denied any negligence or wrongdoing.
The settlement was placed into a guardianship bank account for the child. The Fredericks’ counsel, Wheeler amp& Franks, was to be compensated with one-third of the $75,000 settlement.