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16-yr-old student suing Schuylkill Valley School District

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Oct 22 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 23 2012 08:29:11 AM CDT

Monday night was the first school board meeting in Schuylkill Valley since the district was slapped with a federal lawsuit.

ONTELAUNEE TWP., Pa. -

Monday night was the first school board meeting in Schuylkill Valley since the district was slapped with a federal lawsuit.

A high school student said he was caught on video having sex with his girlfriend during a school trip abroad. Another student is accused of taping the encounter and circulating it around the school.

Now, the student-- who was unknowingly taped-- said when he and his parents turned to the district for help he was suspended.

The student's parents tell 69 News their son has been humiliated and bullied. And at least one other parent who went to the school board meeting said if the school district didn't give the student a hearing before handing down a punishment, that's a problem.

Last spring 16-year-old Anders Hemdal went on a 10-day trip to Morocco with the Spanish Club from Schuylkill Valley High School. And instead of coming back and talking about his travels, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court, he has had to explain a cell phone video that caught him and his now former girlfriend having sex on the last night.

"When he got back to school, the student who recorded it started distributing it to other students," said Joshua Prince, Hemdal's lawyer.

The lawsuit indicates the school district learned of the video after his parents asked for help. And the parents' issue is that the school superintendent handed their son a four-day suspension without a hearing.

"I'm looking for some help, I'm being bullied here and just to be handed a four-day suspension and not get that relief," Hemdal said.

"That's a big issue, especially without due process," said Ron Brizezicki, a parent of a middle school student in Schuylkill Valley School District.

Brizezicki was one parent who was curious if the school board would talk about the case since the lawsuit has been in the news.

"This matter has been referred to the school district's attorneys and we will not be answering any questions or otherwise commenting on this case or any related issues at this time," said Carol Weyandt, president of the school board.

Hemdal's lawyer said they are asking for Hemdal's record to be expunged and compensation for legal fees and damages.

"This is part of his record now that he's been suspended and he was never given a hearing as required by Pennsylvania law," said Prince.

All three students, Hemdal, his former girlfriend, and the student who allegedly shot the video, received a suspension.

The lawsuit states charges have been filed in juvenile court against the third student.