Lawsuit filed against Lincoln County School District in connection with “student sexual misconduct” inflicted by 6 year old first grader on fellow students at Sam Case School in 2009.
A lawsuit against the Lincoln County School District including one current employee and two former employees, has been filed in Federal Court in Eugene. The lawsuit claims in 2009, a then six year old boy inappropriately touched and molested fellow students. The suit claims the then principal of Sam Case School and two other employees knew about the problem, knew it was going on, but did nothing about; that is until a victim family discovered it on their own.
The scandal was partially dealt with when Principal Marsha Eckelman and the two school workers pleaded no contest in court in April of 2010 for failure to properly report child abuse. Each was fined over $600.
Oregonian reporter Lori Tobias has the story. Warning: the story contains graphic descriptions of the abuse. click here.
Meanwhile, the school district issued this response to the lawsuit.
A lawsuit has been filed against Lincoln County School District and one current and two past LCSD employees, seeking damages resulting from student misconduct at Sam Case Primary School that occurred three years ago.
“We are in the process of evaluating the lawsuit,” said LCSD Superintendent Tom Rinearson. “We are committed to ensuring that the lawsuit does not distract from our goal of safely educating our students.”
During the 2009-2010 school year, district officials learned of concerns surrounding some student-on-student behavior in a first-grade classroom at Sam Case School. When the District Office was made aware of these concerns, it fully cooperated with law enforcement and also conducted its own investigation. No charges were filed against the children who engaged in the conduct that formed the basis of the concerns.
After the conclusion of the investigation, the district conducted additional trainings, reviewed its policies, and made changes, where appropriate, to maximize its ability to prevent student-on-student misconduct and to raise awareness of issues relating to harassment and other student related concerns.
“We worked with the families of the involved first-grade students to ensure that there was no break in any child’s education and that these students received all necessary educational services,” Rinearson said.
In the spring of 2010, the district received tort claim notices from six families. One family, apparently satisfied with the district’s response to the situation, withdrew their tort claim notice.
Since receiving the tort claim notices, the district has continued to work with the families, through their lawyers, in an attempt to address the families’ concerns and to resolve the dispute. Unfortunately, the district’s efforts have been unsuccessful so far. The district, through its insurance company and attorney, will continue working with the families through this process until the issue is resolved.