Wheelerville settles lawsuit

CAROGA – Wheelerville Union Free School has settled a lawsuit filed by a parent who alleged a school administrator suggested his son cut his throat.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Superintendent Richard Ruberti said it won’t require action by the Board of Education.

“The district’s insurance company handled the entire process. It has been resolved,” he said in an email.

Thomas McGuire filed the suit in state Supreme Court in Johnstown in September 2011 against David Carr, who had been superintendent and principal, as well as the school district and the Board of Education.

According to the suit, Carr was in a seventh-grade classroom with McGuire’s son, Patrick, and asked him why he wasn’t doing any work. When Patrick told Carr he didn’t have a pen, Carr replied: “How about I let you borrow my knife and you can cut your own throat and do your homework with your own blood,” the lawsuit said.

“The first thing [I thought] was, ‘Holy crap, I’m going to die,'” Patrick McGuire told The Leader-Herald in 2008. “He didn’t look mad, he looked normal. It was right out of the blue. The other kids looked scared and surprised.”

Patrick finished the school year at home and had to see a counselor when beginning eighth grade, his father said in 2008. McGuire has an unlisted telephone number and could not be reached for comment this week.

Carr was reprimanded and said he apologized to the student body at an assembly in 2008. He did not comment when the lawsuit was filed three years later, and he could not be reached for comment for this story. He abruptly resigned in March for personal reasons unrelated to the lawsuit, the school said. The district named Ruberti to the post in June.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard T. Aulisi signed the stipulation of discontinuance Dec. 20, ending the legal action. One of McGuire’s attorneys, Amanda Rose of Mayfield-based Schur & Rose agreed to the settlement Dec. 3; the school’s attorney, Elizabeth Hoffman of the Syracuse-based Lynch Law Office, signed it Dec. 18. Calls to their offices were not returned.