Ava R-1 School District Files Counterclaim Against Bus Route Owners

by Michael Boyink / mike@douglascountyherald.com

On Monday, March 23rd the Ava R-1 School District filed a Counterclaim for Declaratory Judgment and Breach of Contract against a collection of 14 defendants comprising the Ava School Bus Route Owners Association.

The action is a response to a Petition for Declaratory Judgment filed on December 16th, 2019 by the Bus Route Owners against the Ava School System.

In the 12-page Counterclaim, the School asks that the court find that “the Counterclaim Defendants have wrongfully refused to follow the Board’s directives regarding the installation and operation of camera systems on Counterclaim Defendant’s school buses and further have wrongfully refused to allow the District to install the camera systems on their school buses.”

According to the Counterclaim, the two issues at the root of the disagreement are bus driver access to the video recordings, and an on/off switch on the camera systems.

The Counterclaim goes on to “request that this Court enter judgment in favor of the District and against Counterclaim Defendants for damages in the amount of $47,719.62, the District’s expenses, attorney’s fees, and other costs, and further relief as the Court deems necessary.”

“The motion for summary judgment seeks a swift resolution of this matter without the need for a trial,” said Dr. Jason Dial, Ava R-1 School Superintendent. “The counterclaim seeks the same relief that is sought by plaintiffs as well as a claim for breach of contract.” 

“There was not a vote by the BOE,” Dial continued. “This action was filed by the District’s attorney’s in order to bring a resolution to this matter.  The BOE has been kept aware of the actions of the attorneys since the 11 contractors filed their litigation.”

One board member wasn’t happy with the action.

“With everything the country is currently going through, why do this now?” said Ava School Board member Deana Parsick. “Small businesses are being hit hard, and the drivers are each a small business.”

A spokesperson for the Ava School Bus Route Owners Association declined to comment on the document.