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Grandmother files lawsuit against Horry County Schools; claims grandson was put in ‘chokehold’

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 6:27 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The grandmother of a Horry County Schools student is suing the district after she claims her grandson’s panic attack was mishandled.

The grandmother, Maryellen Lashoones, filed a lawsuit against several defendants including Horry County Schools, the school resource officer and the South Carolina Department of Education.

The lawsuit states that in January 2020, Lashoones’ grandson, who was nine years old and in fourth grade at Waterway Elementary School at the time, had a panic attack.

The assistant principal was called to the room, and then the assistant principal called the school resource officer, Officer Sheppard.

“Upon information and belief, Officer Sheppard grabbed B.T. (the student) by the neck placing B.T. in a ‘chokehold,” the court documents state.

The lawsuit states that both the teacher and assistant principal yelled at the officer and told him to let the student go.

The student suffered injuries and “can no longer attend school in person due to fears associated” with the alleged chokehold, according to documents.

The lawsuit lists a number of failures against Horry County Schools, including failing to hire and train staff and employees to properly protect and control students and failing to train staff and employees on proper restraining methods when students are involved in an altercation and danger to themselves or others.

The lawsuit also claims excessive force against Sheppard.

The lawsuit asks for a jury trial and for the jury to determine the amount for all damages in the case.

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