MINEOLA, N.Y. (CN) – Parents of two 15-year-old students killed in a car crash say the Garden City Union Free School District defamed the girls in an article in the school newspaper. The say the Garden City High School paper, The Echo, cited the girls’ deaths as an example “of what happens when you drink and drive,” but the girls had not been drinking, or driving.
Parents of the late Alison Brooke Reilly and Christina Caroleo say the Nassau County District Attorney’s office sent a letter to the school superintendent that stated, “Let me assure you that the (medical examiner’s reports make it extremely clear that no evidence of alcohol or drugs was found in either girls’ (Alison or Christina) systems.” (Parentheses in original.)
In their claim in Nassau County Court, the parents say they girls did not drink that night, nor were they driving. The parents say these comments from a PTA Principal’s Forum were posted on the Internet: “They’re drinking at your homes! I can’t go out to the Hamptons to police them if you rent them houses. We buried three kids over the break. If we don’t learn now, then we’re never going to learn. I have had many, many meetings in this building on this issue, but unless parents decide to do something, nothing will happen.”
The families demand punitive damages of at least $15 million. They are represented by Robert Godosky with Godosky and Gentile of New York, N.Y.