SE Texas Record

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Bullying lawsuit against Galveston private school ends, state district judge grants defendants' plea of jurisdiction

By John Suayan | Mar 27, 2018

GALVESTON – A mid-2017 lawsuit accusing a local private school of failing to protect a middle school student from bullying has been dismissed, per recent Galveston County District Court records.

Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Michelle Slaughter issued an order granting Trinity Episcopal School’s plea of the jurisdiction and motion to dismiss on Mar. 26, effectively dismissing Maureen Beans’ claims with prejudice.

Beans claimed the school and former headmaster, David C. Dearman, failed to shield her son, who is black, from racially-tinged harassment from a few students when he was enrolled from 2014 to 2016.

The respondents submitted their plea and motion last August, arguing civil courts “should not—indeed, may not—intrude upon a religious institution's management of its internal affairs and governance” and the school is a religious institution with the constitutional right to discipline its students as it sees fit “without judicial interference.”

Earlier this year, the plaintiff countered the defendants’ motion should be turned down because they misconstrued the lawsuit and her allegations were not rooted in religious belief.

Galveston County 405th District Court Case No. 17-CV-0566

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Galveston County District Court