Fisher files suit against high school

Saint Louis University basketball player Josh Fisher has filed a lawsuit against his former high school, in King County Superior Court in Washington state, charging a counselor and a teacher with sabotaging his academic standing at the Mercer Island High School.

A brief filed by attorneys Mark Leemon and Brian Wax on behalf of Fisher, a sophomore at SLU, states that a counselor and a teacher accused Fisher of being a student who “was not well known” for doing his school work.

The brief says that the teacher and the counselor also apparently alleged that Fisher had another person take his Scholastic Aptitude Test for him.

According to the brief, both statements are false.

The brief states that the teacher and the counselor spread these rumors to many people, but in particular at Pepperdine University, where Fisher had signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball.

As a result of the rumors, Pepperdine requested an investigation of Fisher.

At a meeting on March 30, 1999, Fisher and his mother met with the principal, his new counselor and his basketball coach at the high school. The principal informed Fisher of his former counselor’s contact with Pepperdine.

The principal also informed Fisher that Pepperdine upheld his scholarship to the school. But the principal notified Fisher that she had conducted an investigation and cleared him of any wrongdoing.

However, the brief states that on April 12, 1999, the Educational Testing Service, which administers the SAT, informed Fisher that the ETS was holding up his scores and conducting a review because the ETS received an inquiry from “a score user” about Fisher’s SAT score.

Fisher then hired a lawyer to defend himself against the claims. After a response from Fisher’s lawyer, the ETS decided that Fisher’s SAT scores were valid.

The brief states that Fisher was “humiliated, embarrassed and suffered extreme emotional distress.” The brief states that Fisher was concerned about his reputation heading into Pepperdine.

As a result, the brief says, Fisher asked to be released from his scholarship at Pepperdine during the ETS investigation.

Pepperdine gave Fisher a conditional release from his scholarship, which, according to National Letter of Intent rules, meant that Fisher could attend another school but that he could not play basketball at that school for two years.

Fisher appealed the decision twice to waive any loss of eligibility, but the NLI committee reduced it to one year.

Fisher followed up the previous matters with complaints to the Mercer Island School District. But the brief states that the district “failed to follow its own procedures in this complaint.”

The brief also states that the defendants and other members of the school district told the media and others that Fisher came to Saint Louis University to follow coach Lorenzo Romar, who had just left Pepperdine to accept the head coaching job at SLU.

The brief says that the defendants and the school district said that “in an attempt to downplay the harm done” to Fisher.

Fisher is suing for defamation, false light, invasion of privacy, tort of outrage and a violation of civil rights, negligent hiring, retention and supervision, and damages.

Fisher and his attorneys are now waiting for the school district to respond to the suit. They have 30 days from January 11 to answer the charges.

Fisher is averaging 5.3 points per game and three assists per game in 16 games. He averages 21.3 minutes per game.