A former Bethel High School student is suing school district officials for allegedly letting Pierce County sheriff's deputies handcuff him to a chair, question him and transport him to juvenile detention without notifying his parents.
A district spokeswoman said last week that the district is prepared to defend itself in court.
District officials pulled Jordan Brinar out of class for questioning March 27, 2008, after another student told them Brinar had been involved in setting off a homemade chemical bomb at Bethel High School that day.
According to Brinar’s suit, in which his parents are also plaintiffs, Brinar’s only involvement in the incident was to provide a fellow student with a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner.
The Brinars’ claim, filed May 26 in Pierce County Superior Court, says Jordan Brinar requested that school officials contact his parents at least three times during the interrogation. That never happened, the suit says. Brinar was 16 at the time.
During questioning, Brinar was handcuffed to a chair, the claim says, while deputies also searched his briefcase and backpack.
Then, sheriff’s deputies transported Brinar to Remann Hall juvenile jail without informing his parents, according to the claim. Brinar’s parents found out about his questioning and arrest only when they went to Bethel High School 4 1/2 hours later to look for him, the complaint says.
“Pursuant to school policy, (the parents) were to have been contacted immediately upon Jordan S. Brinar’s removal from class and questioning by school personnel,” the suit says. “Instead, they only learned about the incident when they went to the school to check on why Jordan had not come home.”
The Brinars took their complaint to Superior Court after the school district denied their claim for damages in April.
Krista Carlson, spokeswoman for Bethel schools, said district officials aren’t commenting on the lawsuit, except to say they believe they will be able to defend themselves in court.
“We believe all the issues surrounding that claim are defensible,” Carlson said.
After the March 2008 incident with the chemical bomb, district officials expelled Brinar from Bethel High School, and he enrolled at Challenger Secondary School, the district’s alternative high school.
The Brinars’ claim says that the district did not follow proper procedure with the expulsion and that Jordan Brinar did not receive credit for coursework he completed.
Jason Brinar, Jordan’s father, declined to comment on the lawsuit when contacted by phone Friday.
Brett Purtzer, the Brinars’ attorney, did not return calls for comment last week.
The lawsuit accuses the district of false or illegal arrest, defamation and causing the Brinars personal injury.
The family is seeking compensatory and punitive damages to be determined in court, as well as an award for their attorney fees.