Some Kanawha County Students File Suit

A 2014 trial date has been set in a lawsuit by three South Charleston High School students who claim Kanawha County education officials could have protected them from alleged sexual abuse by a former Junior ROTC instructor. A circuit judge on Tuesday set an April 28 trial date. The Charleston Gazette reported the students are suing the estate of Edwin Albert Smuda and the county Board of Education. The board denies the lawsuit's claims. According to the lawsuit, some students had stayed at Smuda's home and accompanied him on vacations, and parents had complained about Smuda's inappropriate behavior toward some of his male students. Smuda was charged in 2011 with molesting a teenager. Smuda was found hanged in an apparent suicide in New Jersey in July 2012.