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Student expelled over shooting rumors sues St. Paul school

ST. PAUL -- A senior student who was expelled from a private St. Paul High School despite school leaders saying rumors of a planned attack were based on “inaccurate information” is suing the school.

“The allegations were false: rumor, gossip and innuendo,” attorney Phil Villaume said. “The school knew they were false and expelled him anyway.”

Villaume and the student, David Deaver, are suing the Cretin Derham-Hall in Ramsey County District Court. They’re alleging the school breached its tuition contract, denied Deaver due process and defamed him through public statements.

Although Deaver was awarded a diploma, Villaume said, his Feb. 21 expulsion denied him the chance to attend graduation ceremonies, activities and other events.

School officials met with Deaver and his parents but Villaume said it was clear they were not willing to change their minds. Villaume said he wanted a hearing with a neutral investigator but the school refused.

Minnesota law guarantees a hearing to public school students who are expelled, but private schools aren’t subject to that law.

Villaume said Deaver never was told specifically what he was alleged to have said or done.