BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A lawsuit filed Tuesday in state supreme court alleges that Buffalo Public Schools had advance knowledge of threats of violence on the day of the McKinley High School attack last February, but failed to take actions to prevent it.
In fact, the suit claims, administrators at McKinley had a meeting with the victim’s cousin about the threats less than an hour before the attack.
On Feb. 9, a 14-year-old student was stabbed 10 times and a security guard was shot in the leg during an altercation shortly after dismissal, police said. Two 17-year-olds were later charged with attempted murder. The school did not fully return to in-person learning until March.
The lawsuit, filed by the mother of the 14-year-old victim, named both Buffalo Public Schools and former Superintendent Kriner Cash as defendants. It alleged the district had a “pattern of inadequately addressing the potential for violence” at McKinley, which came to a head on Feb. 9.
The suit alleges the district “had an opportunity to review text messages and social media messages threatening acts of violence” on the day of the attack. It claims both acting principal Karen Kibler and vice principal Solomon Jackson were aware threats had been made against the victim’s cousin and met with him that afternoon.
“This meeting occurred around 3:19 PM on February 9, 2022. All students were allowed to return to their classes, and were dismissed from school without any security measures offered to them for their safe transportation home,” the lawsuit claims.
The suit further alleges that BPS and Cash were negligent in numerous ways: by failing to notify police and the parents of the victims that there was potential for violence; by failing to provide a safety plan or safe transportation home from school for the students; and by failing to prevent the attacker from having a knife on school grounds.
A spokesperson for BPS has not yet responded to a request for comment.
The attorney for the family, John Elmore, will be live on News 4 at 5:30 to discuss the lawsuit.