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Family of teen killed after prom rejection sues school for negligence

Maren Sanchez, via Facebook

Maren Sanchez, via Facebook

The family of a Connecticut teenager who was stabbed to death after she rejected a classmate as a prom date is now accusing the school system of negligence.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Milford Superior Court seeking an unspecified amount in monetary damages, relatives claim that Maren Sanchez, 16, told a guidance counselor at school in November 2013 that Christopher Plaskon was emotionally disturbed and threatening to cut himself with a knife. The family claims the guidance counselor did not inform superiors of Sanchez’s concerns and suggestion that Plaskon needed help.

Plaskon, who pleaded no contest to her murder, killed Sanchez on the day of their junior prom in April 2014. His family and friends said he had become upset that she turned down his invitation to the prom, although Plaskon's lawyer has argued that the claim that the stabbing was over the invitation is “inaccurate.”

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

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

Donna Cimarelli-Sanchez, Maren's mother, 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 claims the school system was negligent in 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.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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