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Special needs student, allegedly raped at Hamilton Southeastern School, files suit

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Posted at 3:17 PM, Jun 25, 2024

HAMILTON COUNTY — The family of a student with special needs is suing Hamilton Southeastern Schools after the student was allegedly sexually assaulted and raped in the care of the school system.

According to the lawsuit, the 13-year-old student, who was a special needs student at a junior high school within Hamilton Southeastern Schools School, was sexually assaulted and raped in his school bathroom on multiple occasions spanning between approximately August 2023 through January 2024.

According to the lawsuit, in November 2023, the student began to show increasing school-based anxiety.

The anxiety was accompanied with concerning questions to his parents, including asking how people contacted AIDS, what rape was and other questions about sex.

In February 2024, a school counselor sent the student's parents an email stating that there was another student that would ask the plaintiff to meet him in the bathroom and request inappropriate actions.

At one point in February, the lawsuit says after a meeting at the school with his parents, the student pointed at the school bathroom and told his father that is where he was raped.

The student eventually told his parents that he had been forcefully sexually assaulted on multiple occasion in the bathroom by a student who was not in the special needs class. The other student allegedly threatened him not to tell anyone what happened.

The family claims that after the school learned of the sexual abuse, the student that committed the acts was not removed from the school environment as they should have been.

They claim the school was also dismissive and took no steps to investigate the reported sexual abuse.

The suit states that only after attorney's demanded school documents related to the student, did they learn that the abuse occurred for over five months.

"Documents from the School indicate that on at least
eleven (11) occasions from August 28, 2023 to January 25, 2024, messages were sent to [ ] on his iPad demanding that he come to a bathroom within the School. These messages are labeled “Allowed Student Communications,” and given [ ] special needs were supposed to be monitored by the School. They were sent through the School’s applications and via the School’s emails," the lawsuit states.

According to the lawsuit, the student and his family have suffered severe emotional distress as a result of the School’s negligent supervision of their son.

The family is seeking damages in an amount sufficient to compensate for their losses.

WRTV reached out to Hamilton Southeastern Schools. They issued the following statement:

We are aware of the recent lawsuit and take such matters very seriously. While we are currently unable to discuss the specifics of the case due to its sensitive and ongoing nature, we are fully committed to cooperating with the legal process.

When these allegations were brought to our attention, we took appropriate action to ensure a safe learning environment. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of every student entrusted to our care.

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