Kalamazoo Schools student files lawsuit against school administrator over ‘slamming’ allegation

KALAMAZOO, MI — The family of a Kalamazoo Schools student has filed a lawsuit against a school administrator who they say threw the student onto a concrete floor, causing injury.

Jennifer Coker and her daughter have filed a lawsuit in Kalamazoo Circuit Court against Brandon Tyler Lukes, Dean of Students at Kalamazoo Central High School.

In the lawsuit, the family claims Lukes wrongfully tackled the 16-year-old to the concrete floor of a cafeteria on January 11. According to a police report, the student admitted that she was trying to fight off another student at the time.

Kalamazoo County prosecutors, after reviewing a Kalamazoo Township police report, declined to press charges in the case.

Prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to support an assault charge against the administrator, who told police he fell while trying to pick up the student and take him away. He was trying to break up the altercation.

“After a thorough review of witness testimony and security video, it was clear that the female student involved was in an extremely agitated state and appeared to be a danger to herself and others,” the chief assistant prosecutor said. of Kalamazoo County, Scott Brower, in an earlier statement. at MLive. “The staff member’s actions were done with the intent of preventing injury to other students, staff and the student herself. In the circumstances, his conduct does not meet the elements of a criminal assault.

Related: A student was thrown to the ground by a school employee in Kalamazoo, according to his mother

Attorney Jon Marko, representing the student’s family, said he believed another student’s cellphone video contradicted the administrator’s statement about an accidental fall. The video, although blurry, appeared to capture the incident between Coker’s daughter and the administrator.

Marko also said there was never a physical fight, only words exchanged between students.

In the lawsuit, Marko said the student suffered head and elbow injuries from being knocked to the ground.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for physical pain and suffering, emotional distress and severe anxiety.

Efforts to reach Lukes or Kalamazoo public school leaders were not immediately successful.

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