Former high school dean ordered to pay $10 million for shooting student


A former Boston high school dean has been ordered by a federal judge to pay more than $10 million in damages to a former student he attempted to murder in a dispute over the sale drug.

Shaun Harrison, the former dean of English High School, was convicted of assault and other charges in state court in 2018. He was also sentenced to 26 years in prison. The judgment came after it emerged Harrison had used his position to recruit students to sell drugs. In March 2015, Harrison shot a 17-year-old boy, Luis Rodriguez, over a drug-dealing dispute that left the boy with medical complications.

The victim filed a civil lawsuit against the former dean in 2019. On August 5, a federal judge ordered Harrison to pay the boy $2.5 million in punitive damages, $7.5 million in damages -interest for suffering, emotional distress and pain, and more than $80,000 to cover the victim’s medical expenses.

Rodriguez has had two surgeries and continues to suffer from the bullet still lodged in his head. Because of the pain, he eventually developed an addiction to prescription opioids.

Rodriguez suffers from hearing loss, facial neuropathy and half of his face remains paralyzed. He needs weights on his eyelids to open and close his eyes.

“He is recovering from an opiate addiction,” Rodriguez’s attorney John T. Martin said. The Boston Globe. “He is very involved in his community and his family and does therapeutic things. He strives and thrives and works his way to finding a job.

A double life

Harrison had arrived at English High in January 2015, just two months before shooting Rodriguez. During the previous five years, he had worked in several public schools in the city.

For several decades, Harrison worked as a youth minister and community organizer in Boston and also worked with law enforcement. In English high school, he was called “Rev” by the students because of his behavior as a pastor.

However, behind the public facade, Harrison bragged to students about his gang ties, guns and drugs.

An investigation following Harrison’s arrest in March 2015 found he had been reprimanded multiple times during his previous stints in the public school system. He was accused of making inappropriate comments to two students in 2012, and of pushing a female student.

“You claim to be a man of religion, you present yourself as someone who can mentor troubled young people…and yet you violated their safety by bringing drugs and violence to them,” Judge Christopher Muse said. said during Harrison’s trial in 2018.

Speaking to The Associated Press, Martin said Friday’s judgment will ensure Harrison “never can profit from any business” once he is released from prison, including selling the rights to his story for publication.

Martin also criticized Boston Public Schools for being “absolutely dismissive” about student safety and for being “grossly negligent” in allowing a “predator” to have authority.

The lawsuit also named Boston Public Schools as a defendant, but the judge dismissed claims against the school district. Martin is appealing this decision.

As Harrison is imprisoned, it is unclear how Rodriguez will receive the $10 million compensation.


Naveen Athrappully is a reporter and covers world affairs and events at The Epoch Times.


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