KETR

Greenville Parents File Suit Alleging GISD Mishandled Sexual Assault Incidents

Jul 2, 2019

The parents of a young child have filed a lawsuit alleging that Greenville Independent School District staff grossly mishandled an incident in which the child was sexually assaulted while a student at Katherine G. Johnson STEM Academy.

The complaint was filed on June 27 in the U.S. District Court Nothern District of Texas Dallas Division. The plaintiffs and their child live in Greenville. KETR is withholding details about their identities from this report to protect the privacy of the child. Katherine G. Johnson STEM Academy, located at 1316 Wolfe City Drive in Greenville, is a GISD campus for elementary school students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The complaint describes a November 2018 sexual assault committed by one of the students against the child of the plaintiffs. The suit alleges that the school district’s failure to respond to the incident led to another assault committed by the same child against the plaintiff’s child in March 2019.

In the first incident, a school district employee discovered a sexual assault in progress in a school bathroom on Nov. 6, 2018, the complaint said. School staff did not report the incident to GISD Police or Child Protective Services, even though GISD staff assured the parents that the incident had been reported, it said. A customized safety plan for the child was never implemented, the complaint said.

The document describes how the child began showing symptoms of sexual abuse. The child began chewing clothing and developed an intense fear of the school bathroom.

The complaint alleges that on March 12, the assault was repeated, with the same assailant and victim, again in the school bathroom. In that incident, the assailant was able to leave before school staff found the victim, the document said. Upon finding the victim of the assault partially exposed, school staff chastised the child, the complaint said.

After the March incident, the child’s parents discovered that none of the reporting or remedial actions promised in November had occurred, the complaint said. The parents went directly to GISD Police, who expressed anger and frustration that they had not been told about the assaults, the document said.

Furthermore, the complaint described KGJ STEM Academy Principal Stacey Kluttz as uncooperative and secretive regarding the school’s alleged failure to follow up on the November assault.

A belated report made by GISD for Child Protective Services was incomplete and lacked the names of both the assailant and the victim, the complaint said.

GISD staff later blocked the parents’ access to Skyward, the online record-sharing and communication system used by the school, apparently in retaliation against the parents, the complaint said.

The complaint also alleges that GISD staff have prevented GISD Police from conducting an investigation. Instead, GISD staff told GISD Police that the school district’s attorneys would be conducting the investigation, according to the complaint.

The document goes on to call that GISD staff be investigated for violations of district policy or criminal wrongdoing as appropriate. The complaint also calls for a revision of GISD policies regarding prevention of and response to sexual abuse among students. The complaint also petitions that the district pay the plaintiff’s attorney fees as well as an unspecified amount of compensatory damages.