Family of Slain Student Files Lawsuit Against Schools, City

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Sherrel Wheeler Stewart, WBHM 90.3 FM

Attorneys filed a wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of the family of a Birmingham teen who was shot and killed at Huffman High School in March. Courtlin Arrington’s family is suing the school’s principal, the school superintendent and the City of Birmingham.

The lawsuit requests a jury trial and seeks punitive damages.

Arrington’s family says the principal and superintendent did not ensure her safety or the safety of other students at Huffman High by failing to use metal detectors that were in place at the school.

Arrington was killed when another student, Michael Barber, brought a gun to school and shot her. During a hearing last month, the lawyer representing Barber said his client was showing the gun to Arrington when it discharged.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Clyde Jones sent the case to a grand jury for review.

Birmingham school officials issued a statement Tuesday evening acknowledging the lawsuit, but declined to comment on pending litigation. The statement went on to say the school system remains “deeply saddened by the Huffman High School tragedy, but steadfastly committed to student and staff safety and security.”