File photo (Dave Copeland/Andover News)

A U.S. District Court Judge dismissed $25 million lawsuit against Andover Public Schools earlier this month.

In his September complaint, David Howard accused the district of “intentional infliction of emotional harm” and violating his rights under the U.S. Constitution, the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, and federal law. The lawsuit, which was filed with the assistance of a national nonprofit, also named Superintendent Magda Parvey, former Andover High School Principal Caitlin Brown and Wood Hill Mill School Principal Robin Wilson, claiming Brown and Wilson enforced the same restrictions as Lee.

Judge Leo T. Sorokin dismissed all four counts in Howard’s complaint in a March 5 order. Two of the counts were dismissed because the original complaint failed to state a claim, while the other two were dismissed because they did not fall within the court’s jurisdiction.

On Thursday, Howard filed a notice of appeal. By policy, Andover Public Schools does not comment on active litigation.

According to the original complaint, Parvey told Howard he was “physically barred from access to the schools attended by his daughters” in Nov. 17 and Nov. 21, 2022 letters as Howard’s divorce and custody agreement was finalized. Howard claimed APS continued to enforce the ban after his divorce was finalized on Dec. 8, giving him full parental access to his daughters.

The court awarded Howard’s ex-wife primary custody, but lifted all custody restrictions that had been placed on him at various times during the proceedings, according to court papers.

Howard’s lawsuit said Parvey’s November letters followed a Nov. 15 incident at South Elementary School. Howard claims Lee pulled his 11-year-old daughter from her classroom and “scolded” her for leaving school and going to her father’s house the previous day. Howard also claimed Lee continued to harass his daughter in the following days and made her uncomfortable. Howard claims Lee’s actions “inflicted emotional distress” on him and his daughter.”

Disclosure: The author’s daughter is a student at South Elementary School.

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