District sued for not protecting student from harassment

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Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686
District sued for not protecting student from harassment

http://www.news-leader.com/article/20110817/NEWS12/108170372/Suit-filed-against-Republic-School-District

There are too many details to copy and paste so please read the article.

Basically a special ed student was harassed by a male student. In the 08 - 09 school year, she reported he raped her. The school didn't believe her, she recanted, ended up writing a letter of apology to him, and was expelled for the remainder of the year. In the 09 - 10 school year she was allowed back. She was raped again, this time in the school library. Her mom took her for testing; the semen matched the boy's DNA. He plead guilty (although it does not say to what charges). She was again suspended. This time for public display of affection.

The school district says it is not responsible. In part because:

The girl failed and neglected to use reasonable means to protect her self, the response says. Any damages the girl may have suffered, "were as a result of the negligence, carelessness, or conduct of third parties over whom the District Defendants had neither control nor the right to control," according to the school district response.

What do you think? Is it frivolous as the district claims? Or did they drop the ball?

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

I'm trying to understand the district's side...there are a lot of allegations against them and their position is that the girl failed to protect herself.

The suit alleges that when school officials interviewed the girl in 2008-09, they failed to even look at her own school file, which included a psychological report "which clearly indicated that [the girl] was conflict adverse, behaviorally passive and 'would forego her own needs and wishes to satisfy the request of others around so she can be accepted.'"

There must be more to the story, but I can't get past their defense. If it is really as bad as the girl's lawsuit makes it sound, the district should have taken steps to fire the employees involved and settled with the family.

Maybe someone else can shed some light on what the district officials are thinking.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

From what I'm reading, I am flabbergasted and outraged at this entire scenario. I can't even believe that not only was this poor special education student raped once, accused of lying about it and expelled, only for it to happen again! If she is at school (especailly considering she's a special ed student, who requires even more supervision than a regular student) then it's the faculty's responsibility to care for that child during the hours that they're there. I absolutely believe that the district should be sued, as they allowed this to happen not once but twice! And why are they not looking at this poor girl for what she is... a VICTIM?!?! They're trying to say that she should have better protected herself??? Do we say that to other rape victims out there, regardless of the age of the victim or where the crime was committed? This story just makes me sick... and would make me scared to send my daughter to school if I lived there...

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

This is really horrid.