MSNBC, August 23, 1998

Students ‘shocked’ over discipline

Marcelleus Gossitt said he was shocked by a teacher during an auto shop class at Crete-Monee High School
By Amy Jacobson

CRETE - The family of a 16-year-old boy has filed a federal lawsuit claiming an auto shop teacher at Crete-Monee High School used spark plugs and an engine to shock students as a form of punishment.

Marcelleus Gossitt said shop teacher Philip Rush offered the students a chance to improve their grades by getting shocked. “It was a funny feeling like shocks going through your veins,” Gossitt said.

Parent John Schuright said his son was offered a choice to either hold onto the spark plug or take a detention. “That’s about what they do to you when they start your heart again,” he said.

School superintendent Steve Humphrey said Rush was fired after he admitted to the allegations. But one of the victims still plans to go through with a federal lawsuit claiming the school knew about the shocks and didn’t take action.

“As far as we know, [the lawsuit] is completely unfounded...No one has ever had a complaint about this,” Humphrey said. Despite the allegations, no criminal charges have been filed against Rush. Rush and his attorney could not be reached for comment.

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