The Associated Press, September 16, 1998

Student Allegedly Forced Into Box

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A high school freshman allegedly forced to endure hours in the ``Slacker's Box'' -- a 3-by-4-foot space under the classroom sink -- has filed a federal lawsuit against the teacher he says put him there.

The 16-year-old student, identified only as CTH, said he suffered severe humiliation and embarrassment because of teacher Jeff Tytler, who was fired in 1997 after school officials charged he used bizarre, militaristic codes in his classroom.

``It's one of those stories that if you tell anybody about it, their jaws drop,'' said Rosemarie Richard, the attorney representing the student and his parents.

The ``Slacker's Box'' was a cubbyhole under a sink counter where students who were punished had to sit, often with their knees tucked to their chests, the lawsuit said. An unventilated closet known as ``The Pit'' also was used for punishment, the suit says.

Tytler sent the student to the box six times in 1996 and 1997, the suit alleged.

The boy and his family are seeking unspecified damages. Tytler's attorney refused to comment.

During the investigation leading up to Tytler's firing, school officials discovered that his classroom was adorned with student drawings of decapitations, violence and war. On his desk was a training hand grenade and a machine-gun belt with 22 spent rounds, according to the lawsuit served on school officials Tuesday.

Also sued was the former principal at the school, Spanish River High in Boca Raton, and the Palm Beach County School Board. The principal denied any student was ever mistreated.

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