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Suit accuses former Buffalo teacher of sexually abusing student

A former Buffalo Public Schools student alleges in a Child Victims Act lawsuit that a gym teacher repeatedly sexually abused her from 2007 to 2009 at Lafayette International High School.

The suit accuses former teacher Christopher Jagiello of Buffalo of sexual contact with the minor without her consent.

The lawsuit also names the school district and Associate Superintendent Phyllis Fatima Morrell as defendants. Morrell, who the suit says was acting principal of Lafayette at the time of the abuse, is accused of violating state law by failing to report suspected cases of child abuse and molestation.

However, Buffalo Public School District spokeswoman Elena Cala said that Morrell followed protocol by immediately reporting allegations against Jagiello to both the state and the district’s human resources department.

After being put on leave, Jagiello resigned in 2011 as a teacher, Cala said.

“It is standard procedure to place an employee on leave during investigation, and that was done. Beyond that, the district does not disclose findings of employee personnel files,” Cala said.

Jagiello surrendered his permanent teaching certificate sometime after it was issued in 2007, according to the state Department of Education website, which does not indicate why or when the certificate was surrendered.

The Buffalo News attempted unsuccessfully to contact Jagiello.

[Click here to read the lawsuit]

The lawsuit, filed Monday by attorney J. Michael Hayes, is the second Child Victims Act lawsuit against the Buffalo school district.

In the other case, a Hamburg man said he was abused as a teenager by a science teacher, named as Robert Sewast, from 1980 to 1982. That lawsuit does not identify the school where the abuse allegedly occurred.

Case by case: Child Victims Act filings detail heart-wrenching stories of abuse

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