A lawsuit filed against the Republic School District alleges school officials failed to protect a middle school girl from a male classmate who harassed her, sexually assaulted her, and raped her.
In its written response, the school district denies all allegations in the suit and calls the claims frivolous.
The suit, filed July 5, alleges when the girl — a special education student — told officials about the harassment, assault and rape that occurred during the 2008-09 school year, they told her they did not believe her. She recanted.
The suit also alleges that, without seeking her mother’s permission, school officials forced the girl to write a letter of apology to the boy and personally deliver it to him. She was then expelled for the rest of the 2008-2009 school year and referred to juvenile authorities for filing a false report.
“School Officials, although mandatory reporters under Missouri’s Child Abuse Reporting Law, failed to report [the girl’s] complaints to the Division of Family Services or to Greene County Juvenile Authorities,” the suit says.
In 2009-10, the girl was allowed back in school, and the boy continued to harass and assault her, the suit says. She did not tell school officials because she was afraid she would be accused of lying and kicked out of school.
In February 2010, the boy allegedly forcibly raped the girl again, this time in the back of the school library. While school officials allegedly expressed skepticism of the girl, her mother took her to the Child Advocacy Center and an exam showed a sexual assault had occurred. DNA in semen found on the girl matched the DNA of the boy she accused, the suit says.
The boy was taken into custody in Juvenile Court and pleaded guilty to charges, the suit says. The specific charges are not stated in the suit.