AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — A former teacher in the Williamsville School District is being accused of choking a 12-year-old student during a January 2018 incident at Mill Middle School.
The allegation was made in a recent lawsuit filed on behalf of the girl’s parents, Scott and Laura Wexler. The girl is only identified as “L.W.”
According to the lawsuit, the teacher, identified as Bertrand Juillet “placed his hands upon her neck and choked her”. It allegedly happened after the girl made a comment about a game being played in class.
“The district knew or should have known of Juillet’s reputation for aggressive reactions and provocation when working with minor students in his role as a middle school teacher,” the lawsuit says.
Amherst police Captain Scott Chamberlin says the incident was investigated and after consulting with the Erie County District Attorney’s office, no charges were filed.
Chamberlin also says police investigated another incident involving Juillet, occurring in May 2019, in which in was alleged a laptop computer was slammed shut on a student’s fingers.
A spokesperson for the district said Juillet resigned in May.
“I find that somewhat ironic that with just a little bit more of the school year left, they accepted his resignation, whereas last year where we were asking the district to not allow him to return while our client’s daughter was still in the classroom, they brought him back with eight days left in the school year,” said Dennis Vacco, an attorney who represents the L.W.’s family.
L.W. later left the district for a private school. Among other things, Vacco is asking for the district to pay for her tuition.
The school district’s spokesperson had no comment on the lawsuit.