By Leonard E. Colvin
New Journal and Guide
Five years after Latasha Holloway filed a suit charging personnel at Rosemont Elementary School with abusing her two special needs children, a federal court recently awarded her a sizable financial settlement in the case.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in Norfolk, approved a “settlement” on behalf of the two children.
The terms of the suit are public record, according to Roy Perry-Bey, a civil rights activist, who helped Holloway in her legal efforts against the school division.
According to the terms of the settlement, the Virginia Beach School Division will have to pay seven consecutive years of tuition payments for both of the children on an annual basis upon certification that the children are not enrolled in the Virginia Beach school division.
The division will also make a multi-million dollar donation to the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia in the names of Latasha Holloway and her two children.
Also, Holloway will be reimbursed for the thousands of dollars she has made for private educational services and tutoring while her children were unable to attend the city’s public school system from 2017 to now.
Holloway’s claim was based on evidence captured by video cameras in the school. The suit claimed that Holloway’s children sustained “injuries and damages as a result of inappropriate seclusion and restraint of her two special needs children.”
The suit which Holloway filed in 2018 said the school personnel were improperly trained to handle the issue which caused the abusive treatment and they failed to follow “proper due process in reporting the incidents.”
The Virginia Beach Public Schools denied that their personnel at Rosemont Elementary School were guilty of the allegations.
Holloway told the GUIDE she filed the suit in 2018 after she was unable to persuade the school, the school board or the city council to resolve the issue.
At about the same time, she became vocal as a civil and voting rights activist.
She filed a suit which attributed to the federal court and the Virginia state legislature abolishing the hybrid at-large-district system of electing the council and school board in Virginia Beach.
The federal court ordered the city to change its election system because Holloway’s suit said it diluted the electoral rights of citizens.
Now the city will be electing its city council and school board via wards beginning this fall.
The same federal district court which approved her school case settlement ordered the city to change its way of electing council.
She has also pursued an effort via a petition drive to remove the current mayor of the city.
“For too long the voices and the rights of the parents and their children have been ignored in Virginia Beach,” said Holloway. “So have the rights and voice of the voters. I filed this suit to be a loudspeaker to give them a voice on three key issues. I think three out of three is good and so is God.”