Barb Byrum and Brad Delaney this week filed with the U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan Southern Division for dismissal of a case alleging the couple used their political influence to reinstate their son in school after he was expelled for the sexual assault of a fellow eighth-grader.

Byrum is a former state representative and current Ingham County clerk, and Delaney is an Ingham County deputy sheriff. Their son was expelled after a May 2022 incident that violated school policy, Michigan criminal sexual conduct law, and federal Title IX regulations.

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Byrum and Delaney petitioned the Mason School Board to reinstate their son, which was granted and prompted a federal lawsuit filed last month on behalf of the victim of Byrum and Delaney’s son. The couple’s minor son is referred to as B.D. in court documents. Those documents detail the assault on B.D.’s classmate, including forcing his hand beneath the front of her sweatpants and undergarments and penetrating her digitally. Four days later, B.D. attempted a similar assault on the same girl.

Mason High School Principal Lance Delbridge and Assistant Principal Nicholas Toodzio are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Although B.D. was expelled for one year, Byrum and Delaney petitioned to have him reinstated. A motion to reinstate B.D. was made by Mason School Board member Steve Duane and supported by board member Liz Evans. Other board members reported as voting in favor of reinstatement are Michael Kelly, Bryan Droscha, Kurt Creamer, Amy Lark, and Christopher Mumby.

The reinstatement of the boy prompted Mason High School students to stage a walkout on Wednesday, citing “safety concerns.”

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Brandon Wolfe is the attorney for the family of the girl sexually assaulted by Byrum and Delaney’s son. His initial lawsuit alleges that Byrum and Delaney engaged in a civil conspiracy with the Board of Education to reinstate their son, which, he added, intentionally inflicted emotional distress on B.D.’s victim.

Wolfe applauded the student walkout.

“People speaking out about it in the school is a pretty awesome thing and they should. Because why should a person come forward if their voice isn’t going to be heard?” Wolfe told Lansing television station WLNS. “I think they’re justified in their reaction. I mean, at the end of the day, my position for my client is that the Mason school district just completely dropped the ball in this case.”

Mason Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Gary Kinzer issued a written response to the student protest.

“I attended the walkout with other district administrators to hear the concerns of students,” Kinzer wrote. ”After the initial walkout, I met with the two student organizers and heard their specific concerns and requests. I, along with the Mason High School administration team, will continue an open dialogue with students to address their concern and share information about safety matters whenever possible. Again, I applaud our students for exercising their First Amendment rights and championing issues they feel strongly about in a mature and appropriate manner.”

According to reporting conducted by Gongwer, Wolfe argues his client has an active personal protection order against B.D., “and while there is also a no-contact order at the school, his client still has to see the other student around the building.”

Wolfe added: “I think if it was anyone but Barb Byrum’s kid, they would have taken him out of school and moved on with life.”

In their motion to dismiss, Byrum, Delaney, Toodzio, Delbridge, and the Mason Public School District assert Wolfe’s claims on behalf of his client “should be dismissed with prejudice.” They also request that the court award them attorneys’ fees, alleging “plaintiff’s action was frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation.”

U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker has set a scheduling conference for March 15 at the federal courthouse in Grand Rapids.