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Judge drops civil suit against Guilderland High School

A United States District Judge dismissed all charges against the Guilderland Central School District and its administrators in the civil case of Barmore v. Aidala.

In the civil suit, Garrett Barmore's claims were based upon a fight he had with another student in the cafeteria of Guilderland High School in October 2003, and the disciplinary actions imposed by the district.

On Halloween, Barmore allegedly entered the cafeteria and punched a student, who sustained a broken nose. A fight ensued and another student Andrew Dillon, then 18, joined the fight after the injured student, who was white, yelled racial slurs. Both Dillon and Barmore are black.

All three students received a five-day suspension from the principal at the time, Ismael Villafane.

Additionally, Barmore was suspended for one month by Superintendent Greg Aidala.

As a result of his punishment, Barmore ultimately claimed that school officials did not act equitably when administering disciplinary measures to students involved in the incident and that he received unfair treatment because of his race.

District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy determined that Barmore's allegations of civil rights violations and negligence were without merit and ruled that district administrators followed district policies.

Furthermore, the court ruled that administrators took proper action to discipline the students who violated those policies and meted out fair and appropriate disciplinary treatment to Barmore for his role in the fight.

We are extremely pleased with the decision, said Aidala.

"It confirms that district administrators treated every student fairly and appropriately in assigning consequences for their unacceptable behavior."

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