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Federal lawsuit against Willmar School District, administrators and special education teacher is dismissed

WILLMAR -- A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the Willmar School District, administrators and a special education teacher.

The mother of a child who had attended Lincoln Elementary School had sued teacher Lisa Van Der Heiden and the others. She had alleged that Van Der Heiden mistreated the child in first, second and third grade through an excessive use of physical restraining holds and of a timeout room.

Judge David S. Doty wrote in his ruling that claims against individual defendants were redundant when the school district was also a party in the suit. He also wrote that the district could not be held liable for the acts of its employees unless they violated official policies or customs.

Read more about this Wednesday in the West Central Tribune.