Berkeley BOE drops countersuits against 3 parents; countersuits from teachers remain

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Countersuits filed against three parents suing the Berkeley County Board and other defendants have been dropped, but those parents may be sued by some of the teachers.

The original civil suit filed by Amber Pack names the Berkeley County Board of Education and the principal of Berkeley Heights Elementary School Amber Boeckman, Special Education Teacher Christina Lester, and teachers aides June Yurish and Kristin Douty among others.

That civil suit stems from allegations Pack’s daughter Adri was abused while attending Berkeley Heights. Alleged verbal and possibly physical abuse were caught on a recording device Pack had placed in Adri’s hair last fall. Adri is a student with special needs and is non-verbal.

Last week, the Berkeley County Board of Education filed a motion to exclude the audio evidence. They also filed a countersuit against Pack and other parents, Kasey Murphy and Florence Blount. Yesterday, the BOE dropped the countersuits against the parents.

Pack’s attorney Ben Salango was a guest on Wednesday’s Panhandle Live, heard on MetroNews affiliates WEPM and WCST.

“We’ve got a board of education that was clearly retaliating against the parents because they exposed this,” said Salango. “So after I guess public pressure, and only five days after the lawsuit, they decide to dismiss it.”

Salango said some of the teachers named in the suit are still actively counter-suing the parents. He’s hoping they will take their cues from the BOE and drop those suits.

“Once the board decided to come out and use its perceived power against Amber Pack, the teachers filed suit as well,” said Salango. “I’ve asked the teachers to dismiss their claims. There is no basis in law for these claims. They filed a motion to exclude the evidence. They don’t want anybody to hear that audio tape.”

Berkeley County Schools officials told WEPM they cannot comment on pending litigation.

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