Parents Say Child Injured at S. Idaho School, File Lawsuit

September 1, 2021

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — The parents of a former south-central Idaho middle school student have filed a lawsuit against the school district contending a teacher instructed other children to wrap their child tightly in a sheet and push her down concrete stairs while the teacher recorded video on his cellphone.

The complaint filed earlier this month by Shane and Barbara Schaeffer against the Twin Falls School District and instructor Froylan Vargas seeks a jury trial to recover medical expenses as well as money for pain and suffering from injuries that included a traumatic brain injury, scalp laceration and right knee injury.

The school district denies any wrongdoing, and has asked that the lawsuit be dismissed. It says others not under its control, including the student, may have been guilty of careless misconduct at South Hills Middle School.

Brian Hilverda, a Twin Falls-based attorney representing the parents, told the Times-News that the students were participating in a class assignment in November when they reenacted events from literature or history. He said he’s not sure what event was being reenacted.

Hilverda said the students were reluctant to do the assignment, but did so at Vargas’ urging.

Hilverda said that afterward, the student’s mother picked her up from school and took her to receive medical attention. He said the child continues to receive medical treatment for the head injury.

Hilverda said the student returned to the school, but left and finished the school year elsewhere.

“She didn’t receive the support that was probably necessary to make her successful at the school again,” he said.

The school district in its response to the lawsuit acknowledged that the student attended a social studies class taught by Vargas at South Hills Middle School.

But the district denied any responsibility.

If the student suffered any damages, the district said in court documents, they “were caused by the negligence, fault, or comparative responsibility of others, including Plaintiff.”

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