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Woman files suit over alleged Vancouver elementary school abuse

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

A former Laura Secord Elementary student has filed suit claiming a teacher at the Vancouver school abused her during the ‘80s and ‘90s.

In a B.C. Supreme Court notice of civil claim, Fariesha Khan alleged she was struck on the head with textbooks, secluded in a dark cloakroom for punishment, called names and threatened with kidnapping.

She claimed her hair was pulled, had her chair pulled out from under her, hit with a wooden ruler and pointed objects and was repeatedly bullied.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. The Vancouver School Board has yet to respond formally. Spokesman Kurt Heinrich said the district is now investigating the allegations.

Khan didn’t respond to a request for comment, but her lawyer, Angela Rinaldis, said the 33-year-old has suffered anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression and low self-esteem from the alleged incidents.

“What occurs next is the defendant has an opportunity to respond,” she said.

“During the discovery process, there’s an exchange of documents (and more details) would arise as part of the factual nature of this case.”

The claim names the district’s board of trustees and a teacher identified as “Ms. Wong.”

“As you can appreciate, this happened some time ago (during kindergarten to Grade 7),” Rinaldis said.

“What I can tell you is what we’ve alleged in the claim is a result of physical and emotion abuse.”


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