WEST COVINA (CBSLA.com) — An 18-year-old man has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was attacked by his art teacher, Scott Stragier, while in ceramics class.
Attorney John Lee represents the former student of South Hills High School, Joseph Leyba Jr., who alleges Stragier attacked and berated him in March.READ MORE: USC Places Sigma Nu Fraternity On Interim Suspension After Reports Of 'Possible Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assaults'
“He pulled my client’s hair and shook his head and neck very violently,” Lee said. “He suffered neck injuries, and he’s also suffered some mental problems.”
Lee said his client was talking in class when the teacher snapped, attacking him and cursing at him in front of the class.
The school district says Stragier was placed on leave after the confrontation but is back at work.
A former student of Stragier, Andrew Leadingham, described him as a great guy.READ MORE: Long Beach Man Killed In Fatal Collision
“Loved him. He was really funny. Really easy to talk to,” Leadingham said.
The suit comes on the heels of the weekend arrests of two female teachers at the school, Melody Lippert and Michelle Ghirelli, who are accused of having sex with students. Anthony Vidales, a wrestling coach at the school, has also been arrested on suspicion of inappropriate conduct with a student.
“I think the school district has a problem of hiring and training and retaining unfit teachers,” Lee said.
A spokesperson for the Covina-Valley Unified School District said there would be no comment on pending litigation.MORE NEWS: Santa Fe County Sheriff's Confirm Alec Baldwin Fired Prop-Gun That Killed 1 Person, Wounded Another
Meanwhile, the school district said another teacher has been placed on administrative leave after allegedly posting inappropriate comments on Facebook relating to Lippert and Ghirelli.