Family accuses arts school of defaming son

By Carrie Bradon | Mar 29, 2017

NEW ORLEANS – A family is seeking damages after their high school-aged son was allegedly defamed at school.

Rory T. White, Romaine L. White and Richard White filed a lawsuit March 1 against New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, et al., in Orleans Parish Civil District Court, alleging defamation and infliction of emotional distress.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs are parents of Richard White, who is now an adult. The suit states that Richard White was a student at NOCCA in February 2016 when he learned that a classmate had been posting derogatory information about him on the internet. The suit states that when the plaintiff tried to speak to the classmate, she responded violently, shoving, screaming and cursing at him. The plaintiff was wrongfully then accused of shoving his classmate, though no proof was provided, the complaint said.

On Feb. 29, 2016, the plaintiff was reported to law enforcement and was told that he would be excluded from all school activities. He was eventually expelled and charged with criminal offense.

The defendant is accused of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, deprivation of state constitutional rights, negligent supervision and failing to protect the plaintiff from bullying, invasion of privacy, conversion and loss of consortium.

The plaintiffs seek all reasonable damages, court costs, attorney fees and all appropriate relief. The family is represented by attorney Michael Zerlin in Thibodaux.

The case has been assigned to Division A Judge Tiffany G. Chase.

Orleans Parish Civil District Court Case number 17-1901.

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