PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A lawsuit, filed by five Woodland Hills School District students, has been settled.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Discusses District's Future With City Council Members
The lawsuit was filed in federal court, alleging civil rights violations.
The former principal and several Woodland Hills staff members came under fire after multiple videos surfaced showing students being roughed up.
The lawsuit claimed Woodland Hills created a culture of verbal abuse and excessive force that allowed resource officers to shock students with stun guns and body slam them.
“This was becoming a norm. It happened so often that it was not something that the kids saw as something out of the ordinary,” said Todd Hollis, an attorney for one of the students who filed the lawsuit.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Pitt Center For Vaccine Research Explains How Variants Form And What They Mean
Woodland Hills has since hired a new superintendent and principal. And the lawyers who filed the suit are now praising the Woodland Hills School District for completely changing their policies on handling students.
Jasson Hart is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. He says he was verbally abused by former principal Kevin Murray.
“I was threatened by the principal of Woodland Hills. He made several comments, racial slur comments to me. A lot of hurtful, hurtful comments,” said Hart.
Lawyers say the settlement is worth more than a half million dollars. But a federal judge still has to approve it.
One of the cases involved a student who had his tooth knocked out. Former school resource officer Stephen Shaulis was accused of using excessive force when he knocked out the 14-year-old’s tooth during an incident at Woodland Hills.MORE NEWS: State Officials Warn Identity Theft Is Aiding Fraudsters Make False Unemployment Claims
Churchill Council members voted Monday to approve a settlement in that case.