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Lawsuit filed against ex-principal at Fresno Unified following shoving incident

A Fresno Unified student and their guardian are suing the district and an ex-principal following a June incident where the ex-principal was caught on camera shoving the student. The family is seeking unspecified damages for the student’s mental and physical pain and claiming negligence by the district, according to the Fresno Bee.

Former principal Brian Volhardt also already faces a criminal charge of misdemeanor child abuse from the incident. He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Following the June incident, the district placed Volhardt on leave and launched an investigation. It also reported the situation to the Fresno Police Department and Child Protective Services. However, the police department has since admitted to mishandling the case and delaying investigation, according to the Fresno Bee.

The lawsuit, filed in late December, accuses Volhardt of harassing and assaulting the student, who in turn suffered humiliation and distress alongside physical pain from the incident. The lawsuit also alleges that the district failed to properly report the incident.

Volhardt is scheduled for a court appearance Wednesday for a pretrial hearing. A case management conference is also scheduled for April.