Cops and Courts, Latest News, Preston County

Private school lawsuit dismissed

Academy accused Preston BOE of targeting it with lies

KINGWOOD — A lawsuit filed by a private school against the Preston County Board of Education has been dismissed.

 Kristine Ayers-Cline, the director of the Academy,  and Laurel Academy LLC filed the suit in February in Preston County Circuit Court.

The dismissal was signed Nov. 30 by Preston Circuit Judge Steve Shaffer. 

The dismissal says only, “The parties, by their respective counsel, hereby stipulate and agree that any and all claims asserted by Plaintiffs against the Board of Education of the County of Preston should be dismissed with prejudice, with each party to bear their own costs and expenses.”

Preston School Superintendent Steve Wotring said Friday, “The lawsuit was dismissed.  I have no further comment about it other than that.”

Requests for comment from the Academy were not answered in time for this report.

According to the suit, “Since its inception, Laurel Academy — for inexplicable reasons — has been the target of false and defamatory statements and rhetoric made by agents of the BOE to prospective students at Laurel Academy, in apparent attempts to dissuade students from transferring to Laurel Academy.”

The board’s reply said that at all times it “acted reasonably and appropriately under the circumstances” and “did not act carelessly, recklessly, negligently, outrageously or intentionally and did not commit any acts or omissions to the detriment of plaintiff or which proximately caused injuries or damages as alleged in the complaint.”

The board was represented by Bowles Rice LLP and the Academy by attorney David M. Grunau. The board’s insurance provided its attorneys, Wotring said.