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Forsyth Co. judge dismisses part of lawsuit over school employee convicted of sex with student

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Herman Shiron Blount

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A Forsyth County judge dismissed parts of a lawsuit that criticized the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board over its handling of a former Carver High school employee who was convicted of having sex with a student, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Judge Susan Bray of Forsyth Superior Court issued the ruling Thursday. A hearing was held in Forsyth Superior Court Monday on a motion to dismiss that was filed by attorneys for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education.

The allegations in the lawsuit, which was filed in November 2013 and was amended this June, center on Herman Blount, who worked as a part-time athletics trainer at Carver. Blount, 31, was hired in 2009 and passed a background check. He pleaded guilty June 29, 2011, in Forsyth Superior Court to one count of felony sex offense with a female student, who was 16 at the time. Judge Andy Cromer sentenced Blount to 10 to 12 months in prison and ordered him to register as a sex offender for a period of 30 years.

The student, who has since graduated from Carver, and her mother filed the lawsuit and sought at least $6 million in damages. They alleged that the school board was negligent in hiring, retaining and supervising Blount and also claimed battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, seduction and violations of the state constitution. They also made a claim for the student’s medical expenses.

Bray dismissed everything except the claims of negligence – negligent hiring, supervision and retention of Blount and negligent infliction of emotional distress, according to her order.

Harvey and Harold Kennedy represent the student and her mother.

“I think at this point and time the case will go forward to trial on the negligence (claims),” Harold Kennedy said today.

He said he expects the case to go to trial the first part of 2015.

Theo Helm, a spokesman for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system, said he could not comment on pending litigation.