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Family Of Teen Killed In Prom Day Stabbing Sues School

Ned Gerard
Hearst Connecticut Media

A teenager stabbed to death at school by a classmate she had rejected as a prom date told a guidance counselor that the boy was troubled and capable of hurting himself and others, the girl's mother said in a lawsuit that accuses the school system of negligence.

Maren Sanchez, 16, was killed by a classmate on the day of their junior prom in April 2014. The classmate, Christopher Plaskon, earlier this month pleaded no contest to murder. His family and friends said he had become upset that Sanchez turned down his prom invitation, though his lawyer has called the claim that the stabbing was over the prom rejection "inaccurate."

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Milford Superior Court alleges that Maren reported to her school guidance department in November 2013 that Plaskon was emotionally disturbed and threatening to commit acts of self-harm by cutting himself with a knife. It says that the guidance counselor failed to advise superiors of Maren's concerns that Plaskon was capable of hurting others and needed help to prevent an act of violence.

Milford's school superintendent, Elizabeth Feser, said officials would "allow the judicial system to determine the outcome" and she would not comment on the lawsuit.

The defendants named in the lawsuit seeking unspecified monetary damages include the city of Milford, its board of education, Plaskon and Plaskon's family.

Donna Cimarelli-Sanchez, Maren's mother and the administrator of her estate, said the school system and Plaskon's parents could have prevented the violence.

"We're bringing this lawsuit to make sure that reports like the one Maren made are properly handled and that parents and school personnel will respond to protect minor children from terrible injury and death," she said.

The suit also says the school system was negligent by not taking steps to determine whether Plaskon had a knife or other weapon at school.

Prosecutors have said they will seek a 25-year prison sentence for Plaskon, who was held at a psychiatric hospital after the stabbing. His lawyer has said Plaskon suffered from psychosis.

The attack happened in a first-floor hallway at about 7:15 a.m. Someone tried to pull Plaskon off Sanchez during the attack, and a witness saw Plaskon discard a bloody knife, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Plaskon was taken to the principal's office in bloody clothing and told police, "I did it. Just arrest me," according to the affidavit.

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