Suit says kids at private school held preschooler down, poked his eyes & kicked him

A Fayette County mother is suing The Lexington School, accusing its staff of failing to intervene when her preschool-aged son was assaulted on the playground by six other preschoolers two years ago.

Cameron Heathcoat alleges in the lawsuit filed in Fayette Circuit Court May 12 that her son was in the fort on the preschool playground April 11, 2019 when another child sat on him “so that he could not move or defend himself from the attack.”

“While H.H. was restrained, the attackers repeatedly poked him in the eyes with paper sticks they had made in class and kicked him in the stomach,” the lawsuit states. “During the attack, H.H. screamed for help repeatedly, but his cries were either unheard or ignored by TLS’ playground staff because the workers were texting and talking rather than watching the children.”

The suit seeks punitive damages, saying the boy, who was part of an extended day program at the time of the alleged bullying, has “suffered physical and emotional injuries that continue to this day.”

“TLS failed to take any action to prevent the unfortunate incident that occurred on April 11, 2019 even though they were aware of previous, similar incidents involving its students,” the lawsuit states.

Tom Miller, the Lexington attorney representing the private school, said all the children involved in the alleged attack were 3, 4 and 5 years old.

He said he could not comment directly on the allegations in the lawsuit. But he said his grandchildren attend the school, as did his children.

“The reason that school was desirable to us then and it is now is because the school is an extremely loving and caring environment and is very concerned about the safety and well-being of all of its students,” Miller said.

After the parent complained, he said, an investigation took place and “additional safeguards were put in place to avoid any reoccurrence.”

“I’m not acknowledging what is alleged did occur, but anytime you make a complaint at that place they are very proactive, they are very transparent,” Miller said.

Miller said school officials have disclosed details about the incident to parents of students in the same age group.

The lawsuit accuses the school of negligence, saying the school “knew or should have known of the threat posed to the safety and well-being of its students by certain members of its student body” and that it “failed to take reasonable measures to prevent violence” by the students. The lawsuit also accuses the private school of “failure to properly screen, train and/or supervise its extended day workers.”

In addition to the school, the lawsuit names as defendants three administrators or former administrators at the school on Lane Allen Road.

Sean Quigley, the attorney who filed the suit on behalf of Heathcoat, declined to comment on the litigation Saturday.