Federal Lawsuit Against School District Dismissed

Galena High School
Galena High School. Photo: WCSD

Three former Galena High School students this week dismissed a federal lawsuit filed against the Washoe County School District, Principal Tom Brown, and football coach Steve Struzyk.

The lawsuit filed in early January alleged students Jake Berger, Mateo Lemus, and Bryan Madison were subjected to bullying by Struzyk and that the administration and district failed to address complaints.

According to the district, the dismissal was a voluntary decision on behalf of the plaintiffs and was not part of any settlement made by or on behalf of the defendants. The plaintiffs reportedly dismissed their lawsuit after parties had engaged in written discovery, a legal practice that occurs during pre-trial and asks parties to provide information in question.

Traci Davis
Traci Davis

“The Washoe County School District has pledged to provide every possible support for the children whose education has been entrusted to it, and the district and its staff have worked tirelessly to uphold this commitment to the community,” Superintendent Traci Davis said in a statement. “On the basis of this pledge, we believe that the district has embraced and championed the highest possible standards of safety and the academic environments for children within Washoe County School District.”

“While the district, Brown, and Struzyk could not comment on this matter while litigation was pending, the district stands behind its decision that bullying did not occur in this matter and is pleased that the plaintiffs dropped their lawsuit,” Neil Rombardo, school district chief general counsel, said in a statement. “The district is committed to defending itself and its employees in court when the evidence does not support the claims that are made against it.”

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Struzyk was head football coach the past 15 of his 21 years at Galena and resigned his post earlier this week—a move he’s maintained is unrelated to the lawsuit. He plans to continue teaching at Galena.

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Carla O'Day
About Carla O'Day 379 Articles
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.