AVON, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) _ Allegations that some Avon High School teachers recruited students into a cult and that they pose a threat to the community are part of a civil lawsuit filed in U.S. Federal Court in New Haven Wednesday.
The parents and the youngest of three sisters claim the three sisters were persuaded to join a religious cult – called a coven at one point – by three Spanish teachers and a guidance counselor at Avon High.
The complaint claims the three daughters were subject to predatory religious indoctrination and the parents only became aware of what was happening when the youngest girl “broke free” .
The suit claims they became “flat and distant, reclusive, secretive, and non-communicative” and “began speaking a bizarre new language.”
The religion promoted “martyrdom and celebrates death,” causing the elder two sisters to experience suicidal fantasies, becoming alienated from their parents and remaining that way.
Named in the suit are the Avon teachers, the school system and Wellesley College in Massachusetts. The two older girls went to Wellesely and the suit claims the school didn’t do enough to protect the girls from the teachers, who continued to have contact with the girls after high school.
Avon schools issued a statement saying they’re reviewing the complaint and that they’ve never received past allegations of this nature.
The suit seeking damages and changes in the school system. No criminal charges have been filed.