Madison - St. Clair Record

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Mother says violent offender assaulted her child at school

By Philip Gonzales | May 31, 2016

EDWARDSVILLE — A mother of a minor child is suing the Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative, a school organization, citing alleged breach of duty.

Deitrick Oliver, a minor, by and through his mother, Velma Oliver, filed a complaint on May 12 in Madison County Circuit Court against The Bellville Area Special Services Cooperative alleging that the school organization allegedly breached its non-delegable duty.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on May 20, 2014, Deitrick Oliver, a minor with developmental disabilities, was placed in a small padded room called the Blue Room. After being placed in the room, teacher's aide Portrait Pettigrew entered the room, pushing Deitrick against the side and back walls of the room and forcibly choking him around the neck and throat with both of her hands, the suit alleges. The plaintiff holds the Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative responsible because the defendant allegedly negligently hired Portrait Pettigrew, a certified violent offender against youth, failed to provide Deitrick a safe educational environment and disregarded students' safety.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against the defendant in an amount in excess of $50,000. She is represented by Jason R. Caraway of Kolker Law Offices PC in Belleville, Illinois and Matthew J. Marlen of Matthew J. Marlen PC in Belleville.

Madison County Circuit Court Case number 16L259

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