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[IP] Lawsuit accuses educator of battery

4.story">Sun-Sentinel: News</A>
Lawsuit accuses educator of battery

By Peter Franceschina
Staff Writer
Posted August 24 2002

West Boca 7 The parents of an EaglesLanding Middle School student who had her
insulin pump taken away by an assistant principal six months ago filed a
battery lawsuit Friday against the educator.

The student, Nikki Wagner, 14, and assistant principal Nereyda
Astiasaran-Perez have given conflicting accounts of what happened at the
school west of Boca Raton. But they agreed that Astiasaran-Perez thought
Wagner was wearing a pager, which is prohibited in school.

Astiasaran-Perez, who could not be reached for comment late Friday, told
school officials she never touched Wagner and was cleared of any wrongdoing
in a School Board investigation.

But the suit alleges Astiasaran-Perez yanked the insulin pump away from
Wagner, cutting her where the pump was attached by a tube to a port in her

West Palm Beach attorney Bob Montgomery, who represents the Wagners, said the
cut caused an infection, resulting in a three-day hospital stay.

"When it was pulled out, it was done without sterilization," he said.

School officials said Astiasaran-Perez asked Wagner to remove what she
thought was a pager and that Wagner took off the pump, put it on a table and
walked off. Wagner, however, said she tried to explain it wasn't a pager but
that Astiasaran-Perez insisted she remove it and tugged at it.

"She was pulling on it," Wagner said after the incident. "I felt it. It was
bleeding. I said, `Ow.'"

Jeff and Debbi Wagner, who couldn't be reached for comment, filed the suit
because of the way the school district handled the investigation into the
incident, Montgomery said. The Wagners, who are advocates for understanding
juvenile diabetes, maintain a Web site on the rights of diabetic students at

"This really galvanized the parents. They want to make sure it doesn't happen
again. This was absolutely whitewashed as far as we're concerned," Montgomery

The suit seeks damages of more than $15,000.

Peter Franceschina can be reached at email @ redacted or
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