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Suit: Cherry Hill teacher belittled student with sex nickname

By DANA DiFILIPPO
Philadelphia Daily News
difilid@phillynews.com 215-854-5934

Harsh words often lead to headlines, an Ohio congresswoman once said in a vow to not trash-talk her political enemies.

But Thomas DiPatri Jr. apparently has never heard those words of wisdom.

The English teacher at Cherry Hill High School West reportedly instructed his honors students to nickname a student "Handy Mandy" - in reference to her alleged sexual activity - prompting her outraged mother to file a federal civil-rights lawsuit earlier this month against DiPatri, the school board, the township and several unnamed students.

Melanie Singer alleges that her daughter, who also isn't named in the March 18 lawsuit, learned that DiPatri originated the nickname when she complained to her guidance counselor in January that students relentlessly called her "Handy Mandy," "slut," "whore" and other sexually derogatory slurs. "Handy Manny" is a Disney cartoon featuring a bilingual Latino handyman named Manny Garcia and his talking tools.

School staff told her to ignore the harassment, according to the lawsuit. The principal briefly suspended DiPatri for the name-calling but did not apologize or acknowledge the misconduct to the girl and her family, Singer contends in her lawsuit.

The torment worsened after DiPatri's suspension and "became so unbearable, that she was forced to leave school and receive home instruction per her pediatrician's advice," according to the lawsuit.

Singer contends the name-calling and the school's response are discriminatory and violate Title IX, a federal law that bars schools and other federally funded agencies from excluding anyone on the basis of gender.

She accuses the district of inadequate investigation and the student defendants of retaliation.

The family seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for emotional distress, medical expenses, loss of reputation and personal injury.

Singer's attorney, Frances A. Hartman, couldn't be reached yesterday.

The school district is on spring break this week. DiPatri, district spokeswoman Susan Bastnagel, Superintendent David Campbell, School Board President Lisa Conn and Board Vice President Seth Klukoff couldn't be reached for comment.


Click to view image: 'fe6ffaf3d13b-naughty_girl703.gif'

Added: Apr-5-2010 Occurred On: Apr-3-2010
By: gregory_peckory
In:
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Tags: student, teacher, nickname, handy mandy
Views: 10791 | Comments: 10 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 1 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • 40 years of liberals in control of the department of education and this is what you get...pedophile teachers in just about every classroom, children being molested and raped almost on a daily basis...teachers being 'reassigned' by equallly perverted and corrupt administrators instead of being thrown into jail..failing schools, the decline of overall education to the point that some 3rd world shitholes have better education than the USA.

    You'd really have to be a fucking moron to ever vote for a More..

    Posted Apr-5-2010 By 

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    • exactly. this is what constant pandering gets you.

      and i wont even get on the handy manny, dora the explorer and all the other illegal alien pandering shows and toys they market to kids.

      Posted Apr-5-2010 By 

      (2) | Report

    • Comment of user 'Amusing' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • That's what happens to kids when they have soft ass parents who never teach the kids to stand up for themselves or fight for what they believe in.

    They become helpless and get traumatized at the smallest things.

    If your kid's fat, call em a lard ass and don't sugar coat it with "Your Big boned".

    If your kids got a face that only the mother can love, tell em he's one Ugly looking SOB, but you still love em.

    If your kid is not the brightest crayon in the box. Let em know hes stupid o More..

    Posted Apr-5-2010 By 

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  • "Cherry hill" lol

    Posted Apr-5-2010 By 

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  • Pretty sissyfied.
    My kid knows not to start a fight but its okay to end it dad will be on your side.
    I have been lucky enough to see him take some shit and be cool.
    I have also watched him put some serious pain on kids as much as 5 years older than him.
    This is no lie.

    Posted Apr-5-2010 By 

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  • Looks like the teacher's got the horn for the student.

    Posted Apr-5-2010 By 

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