School District’s Motion To Dismiss Carlson Lawsuit Taken Under Advisement

The Mercer County School District’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit has been taken under advisement by Judge Peter Church. The suit was filed by Bridget Carlson over the 2018 suicide death of her daughter Valerie Carlson. Arguments on the motion were heard today in Mercer County Circuit Court. The school district is being represented by Peoria attorney Caitlin Satterly.


Carlson’s attorney is Michael Warner of Rock Island.


The four-count lawsuit was filed in March and alleges Valerie Carlson was harassed by students for her manner of dress, hairstyle and sexual orientation, which eventually led to her suicide in March of 2018.  The lawsuit also alleges the district did not contact health care providers or the mother after receiving reports that the girl “had cut marks on her person”. Each count seeks an amount exceeding $50,000 for “loss of society, grief, sorrow and emotional distress.”  Judge Church indicated he will render a written ruling at a later date. He also reserved ruling on the school district’s objection to an extended media coverage (cameras and microphones) request filed by WRMJ.