Thursday, December 23, 1999

Beaten student’s
mother files lawsuit

The action alleges failure
to properly supervise students
and train school personnel



The mother of Cody Tavares, the eighth grade student severely beaten by other students at Kalama Intermediate School on Maui, has sued the Department of Education.

The complaint, filed yesterday in Circuit Court on Maui, accuses the department of failing to properly supervise students at the school and properly train school personnel.

It says Cody was the object of earlier violence at the school, "and other confrontations of a violent nature occurred between and among other students" there.

Department spokesman Greg Knudsen said he has not yet seen the lawsuit and as a matter of policy does not comment on pending litigation.

The family's attorney, Gerard A. Jervis, said unnamed defendants may include the "parents of the perpetrators."

"We're going to check every possibility out," he said.

The complaint asks for unspecified damages.

At least four Kalama Intermediate students attacked and beat Cody without provocation on Nov. 17 and severely injured him, according to the suit.

Cody's mother, Lynn Awai-Tavares, was outraged that school officials failed to notify her immediately after the incident, Jervis said.

They called her one hour after the beating occurred, according to the attorney. Upon arriving at school, Awai-Tavares immediately rushed her son to the hospital.

Cody was released from Kapiolani Hospital last week and is being monitored closely, Jervis said. His pancreas was severely damaged, and the child was unable to take in food except by intravenous feeding.

E-mail to City Desk

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