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Gavel

A Rock Springs-based school district earlier this month denied allegations that a first-grade student was repeatedly dragged down a hallway in a chair and left in a room.

The refutation comes in federal court documents filed by lawyers for Sweetwater County School District No 1. Those filings are responsive to a lawsuit brought by Richard and Danielle Kaumo on behalf of the male student, whose relationship to the Kaumos is not detailed in court documents. In October, the Kaumos filed the initial complaint against the school district and officials at Desert View Elementary. The chair incidents allegedly took place roughly 10 times over a two-month period during the first half of the 2016-17 school year.

The school district’s December filings state that allegations from the suit — including that Principal Barbara Rezzonico “would grab (the student), throw (him) in a chair” and hold him there and that staff would hold the student in a room for hours at a time — are inaccurate.

The school district also states, among myriad defenses, that “Plaintiffs’ injuries and damages were not caused by the actions of Defendants, but were the natural consequence of (the child)’s condition.”

The condition referenced is not specified in the documents.

In response to a portion of the lawsuit stating the child’s parents attempted to work with the school district to help treat his behavioral issues, the district’s lawyers state the parents did not work with the district and refused to cooperate in an investigation regarding the child. The nature and purpose of the investigation are not made clear in the documents.

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The Kaumos’ attorney, Michael Stulken, told the Star-Tribune earlier this year the family tried to address its concerns within the school district but the district wouldn’t appoint an “independent investigator.” Stulken said the district attempted to bring in someone who works for the same law firm that represents Sweetwater County No. 1.

The defendants ask in the filings for a judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

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Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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