Settlement reached in Great Falls school abuse case

GREAT FALLS - Great Falls Public Schools has reached a $595,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed by the families of seven special needs students who reported suffering physical and verbal abuse in a middle school special education classroom.

The out-of-court settlement was reached in mid-October.

The families of the North Middle School students claimed the children were abused on several occasions between 2007 and 2009.

Superintendent Tammy Lacey said Tuesday the district's insurance provider recommended settling the case to avoid further legal costs.

Attorney Cliff Edwards, who represented the families, said the families believe the size of the settlement should be enough to prompt changes in the school district and ensure the abuse never happens again.

Charges were filed against two paraprofessionals but were later dismissed.

The Associated Press. Settlement reached in Great Falls school abuse case. The Billings Gazette.