Security guard files lawsuit against editors
NEVADA — A controversial underground newspaper at McQueen High School in Reno has resulted in a libel suit against students involved with the publication.
Sandra Lessman, a security officer employed by the Washoe County school district, filed a lawsuit in January against three McQueen High School students and their parents. The suit claims three counts of defamation, one count each of invasion of privacy and assault and three counts of negligent supervision. It was based on statements made in the second issue of Kuhnspeeruhsee an underground student newspaper distributed at the school in December. (See GAINING POPULARITY, page 7).
According to Lessman’s complaint, student Patravutit Leelacharoenpol (also known as Pat Lee), published Kuhnspeeruhsee with two friends, Jackie Shoemaker and Michael Robert Berry. The newspaper was then distributed around the school. Shortly thereafter, they allegedly distributed it to numerous other media, including publishing it on the Internet.
The complaint filed by Lessman maintained that at least one public media organization repeated a poem Shoemaker wrote in the publication about her, entitled “The Snaggle-Toothed Bitch.” That piece along with another written by Berry entitled “They Want Their Guns,” where Lessman was referred to as a “trigger-happy bitch,” “bastard” and “whore” caused Lessman “great emotional embarrassment and turmoil, as well as loss of privacy and work.”
Lessman is blaming the parents for “negligent supervision” causing her to suffer “severe emotional trauma causing her to incur damages.”
No trial date has been set in the case.
Nevada, reports, Spring 1996