Former Martinsville High School student suing school officials after attack


A former Martinsville High School student is suing the school principal, superintendent, and school resource officer after she was attacked on school grounds.

The lawsuit alleges school officials failed to protect the girl, who was then a sophomore, after she was physically threatened by other students.

According to the suit, just before Labor Day, the girl was allegedly threatened by four students through a Snapchat video. She informed her parents who reached out to school officials.

The suit states that on September 3, 2018, the girl’s mother, LaTasha Long, spoke with Superintendent Zebedee Talley, Jr. Long provided Talley the names of the students who made the threats, and Talley promised to personally contact both the parents and students involved and follow up with Long. According to the lawsuit, Long never heard back.

The suit also states that Long, and her husband, Dante, spoke with Martinsville High School principal, Aji Dixon, and school resource officer, Shane McPeek about the threats.

The suit states that on September 6th, 2018, one of the students was arrested by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office for threats made. The suit also alleges that at the girl’s court hearing, Principal Dixon stated, “I guarantee that Mr. Long’s daughter is safe at school.”

That same day, the suit states, the girl was attacked by one of the four students who originally made the threats in the Snapchat video. The teenager suffered a swollen face, black eyes, and bruises from the beating, according to the suit.

The minor’s attorney, Glen Koontz, says that it was inaction by school officials that allowed the attack to take place. “Because they’re incompetent. Because they don’t care. Because they just collect checks and don’t do their jobs,” said Koontz. He said he feels all three-Talley, Dixon, and McPeek should resign from their positions.

“Someone has to be held accountable,” said Koontz. “The people who were supposed to protect her didn’t.”

Eric Monday, the attorney representing the defendants, said they would not comment in detail on litigation involving a juvenile. However, he said the defendants deny any liability in the matter.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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