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School board settles lawsuit alleging cult indoctrination

AVON, Conn. – A Connecticut school board has approved a settlement of a lawsuit that accused four teachers of indoctrinating three sisters in a religious cult that celebrates death.

The insurer for Avon High School to pay the $62,500 settlement, Avon School Superintendent Bridget Carnemolla said Thursday.

“The decision to settle the claim is made for purely business purposes,” Carnemolla said.

She said she could not comment further on the deal, which was approved by the city school board on Tuesday.

The sisters of the parents sued the school district, three teachers and a guidance counselor in the federal district court in 2014. She claimed the teachers of the school indoctrinated their daughters into a cult, causing them to suffer severe personality changes, are closed, and speaking a foreign language.

The names of the parents and their daughters were kept secret during the court proceedings. The sisters were the ages of 22, 19 and 16 when the lawsuit was filed. They were indoctrinated while attending Avon high School, the lawsuit claimed.

The two older daughters were “indoctrinated into a religious cult that promotes martyrdom and celebrates death,” and that they did experience “fantasies of suicide thoughts and martyrdom,” the suit alleged. The cult was not named. The youngest sister was also intended for indoctrination by educators, but they eventually “broke free,” the suit said.

The officials of the School denied the allegations.

The lawsuit claimed the girls’ civil and constitutional rights were being violated and sought covered damages.

Court documents filed in December said the two older daughters had been reunited with their parents and agreed to participate in family counseling.

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