Four sue over Silver Creek ‘cell’

This photo, provided by the Silver Creek district in 2022,, shows the de-escalation room that is utilized in the elementary school.

SILVER CREEK – The school district faces four lawsuits over alleged abuses in a “quiet room” at the elementary school.

The suits, filed Tuesday in state Supreme Court’s Chautauqua County branch, all make similar allegations regarding a controversy that rocked Silver Creek in 2022. The Silver Creek school district, its Board of Education, and Superintendent Todd Crandall are all defendants.

The lawsuits — filed by parents and guardians — allege that their children faced physical and psychological abuse in the quiet room, aka “isolation cell,” between January and April of that year. They were “injured, coerced, and harmed and/or barricaded/locked/placed” in the room, as one of the suits puts it.

Crandall said in April 2022 that allegations about the room are “utterly false.” The district did use what he called a “de-escalation room” but it was up to state Education Department standards, he said. Children could not get locked into the room, he added.

One cause of action in the court filings is that the defendants allegedly knew about the conditions surrounding the room but did nothing to change them. Another cause of action describes “negligence, carelessness and/or recklessness” that led to injuries for the children.

Other causes of action include expenses incurred due to treating the injuries and guardians getting deprived of the “aid, companionship, society, comfort, and services” of their children.

All of the lawsuits were filed by attorneys Andrew Gill and Rich Hall of the Buffalo law firm Cantor, Wolff, Nicastro & Hall.

All four suits seek a trial by jury, to determine compensation.


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