Friday, April 07, 2017
Explosive new lawsuit claims Joplin R-8 officials failed to deal with sexual assault at high school
The student, who is referred to as "Jane Doe" in the petition, claims district officials provided little help in dealing with the assault and claims the district has had "at least nine incidents of sexual misconduct or assault since 2010."
According to the petition, the assault took place February 24, 2016. Jane Doe's stepmother took her to Freeman Hospital for a sexual assault examination and reported the assault to the Joplin Police Department.
It was also reported to district administrators, including the Joplin High School senior assistant principal, according to the lawsuit.
It was not the first time the male student who committed the assault had been involved in something of that nature, the petition said.
Prior to the assault, the District knew or had reason to know that the male District student who sexually assaulted Plaintiff had engaged in prior sexual misconduct involving female students.
Despite this, the petition said, the district "deliberately refused to take any action to protect (Jane Doe), took only late and ineffective remedial action when the District did decide to act (and) abetted the harassing student’s conduct."
Because of the assault and sexual harassment and the district's handling of it, the petition says Jane Doe has suffered "emotional distress, anxiety, fear, and depression."
Eventually, she had to finish the school year off-campus.
The single count of the action charges the school district with "harassment and denial of public accommodations."
Jane Doe filed a charge of discrimination with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights on May 17, 2016. The Commission issued a right to sue notice.
Jane Doe's atrorney, Dan Curry of the Brown & Curry firm in Kansas City, is asking for compensatory damages, punitive damages, costs, and attorney fees.