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Substitute teacher sued for choking student with a cane

The family claims the school swept the incident under the rug.
An empty courtroom
Posted at 9:16 AM, Jul 08, 2023

A Las Vegas school district and substitute teacher are being sued after a family said the teacher allegedly assaulted their child.

According to a court complaint filed on Monday, the event happened at Jerome Mack Middle School of the Clark County School District on April 10 at 2:09 p.m.

The document states that Nicholas Kovalenko was filling in and was "engaging in racially-charged conversations and discussions with the class," which the family claims upset the students.

When the class bell rang, the family states Kovalenko prevented the students from leaving and choked their child with a cane, which other students allegedly saw.

The complaint states when they brought the incident up with the principal, the "matter was swept under the rug." It goes on to say that CCSD police investigated and didn't have probable cause to issue battery and assault charges since the claims "could not be substantiated." The complaint states the family asked the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to look into the matter but that they were told CCSDPD had jurisdiction over the matter.

The family states the district was aware of similar complaints against Kovalenko in the past but "failed to document and investigate the reports as required" so that future incidents wouldn't happen.

According to the complaint, the family is seeking more than $30,000 in damages and attorney fees.

The district said it doesn't comment on pending litigation.

This story was originally published by Jarah Wright at Scripps News Las Vegas.