Former FHS student to receive $75,000 settlement

By Matt Ward— A former Fredericksburg High School student who brought a lawsuit against the Fredericksburg Independent School District (FISD) will receive $75,000 to settle her claims against the district, FISD superintendent Marc Williamson and former FHS principal Lynn Blackwell, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

The lawsuit developed after an improper relationship was documented between then-student Stephanie Crounse and Fredericksburg High School (FHS) physics teacher and coach, Michael G. Stevens.

Williamson confirmed no tax dollars were to be contributed in the final settlement.

Most school districts carry commercial general liability insurance that contains provi-sions for an “occurrence,” which may include a number of coverage terms in which a defendant claims harm.

Williamson said the settle-ment proposal was brought forward by attorneys and en-dorsed by the claims repre-sentative, who also agreed with the resolution.

Additional claims against Fredericksburg Police Department officer and FHS teacher Christopher Ayala were abandoned and dismissed without ever having any financial settlement negotiated, according to attorney Charles Frigerio, representing the City of Fredericksburg. Frigerio called the claim against Ayala “baseless.”

Crounse’s attorneys originally brought the suit against the district, Williamson, Blackwell and Ayala — in addition to Stevens — claiming her civil rights were violated because they failed to prevent the sexual abuse before or during the reported seven months the relationship took place.

The legal document also claimed Crounse was ridiculed, “benched” during her sports participation and removed from an extra-curricular activity.

Williamson, Blackwell and Ayala all denied knowledge of the relationship or that they “should have known,” as the suit alleged.

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