The mother of a minor student at East St. Louis Sr. High School has filed suit against the security company that was supposed to monitor students for weapons after her son was allegedly stabbed four times while in gym class.
Valerie Hopkins alleges her son, Arion Gilkey, was a student at East St. Louis Sr. High School on May 6, 2011, when another student approached him in the gym and stabbed him four times.
As a result, Gilkey sustained severe and permanent injuries, experienced disability and disfigurement and suffered great pain, mental anguish and loss of a normal life, according to the complaint filed May 3 in St. Clair County Circuit Court. He also incurred medical costs and experienced a diminished earning capacity, the suit states.
KLM Loss Prevention and Kim McAfee, who were hired by the school to provide security and to operate metal detectors, are named as defendants because they negligently failed to properly screen students, failed to ensure that the doors were protected by an emergency alarm when opened, allowed students to bypass the metal detectors without screening for weapons and failed to have adequate safeguards in place to ensure that no weapons entered the premises, the complaint says.
Hopkins and Gilkey also name the East St. Louis School District 189 Board of Education as a defendant, saying it failed to provide the highest degree of care for its students. For example, it should have known that its co-defendants were not screening all students for knives, should have known that the co-defendants were not manning all metal detectors, should have known that the metal detectors were not properly functioning and should have known that there were not adequate safeguards in place to ensure that no weapons entered the school.
Following the incident, Hopkins and Gilkey requested unspecified documents from the East St. Louis School District 189 Board of Education, but the defendant failed to provide the information, according to the complaint.
In their complaint, Hopkins and Gilkey are seeking a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs. They are also seeking a judgment that orders the defendants to issue the requested documents, plus attorney's fees, a civil penalty of more than $2,500 but not more than $5,000, plus other relief the court deems just.
Matthew J. Marlen in Belleville will be representing them.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-230.