Lawsuit claims Cleveland City Schools failed to protect middle school student following multiple sexual assaults on campus

By Joi Dukes | Saturday, January 30th 2021, 7:59 AM EST

A female student at Cleveland Middle School was sexually assaulted multiple times inside the school building according to a lawsuit filed in federal court last month. The parents of that student are now seeking $5 million in damages from the Cleveland City School District. 

The lawsuit filed on December 11, 2020 says the student’s parents felt they were unable to protect their own child and that Cleveland City Schools also failed to protect her. It lists the Cleveland City School Board, the school principal, vice principal, school resource officer, the student’s homeroom teacher and math teacher as defendants. The school system is accused of turning a blind eye to the incident and the victim.

The suit, now pending in federal court, accuses Cleveland City School District of indifference to student-on-student sexual harassment, assault and bullying. Court documents state one of several sexual assaults between the victim and the same student happened on September 18 of 2019.

According to the complaint, the assault was reported to DCS by another student, but that the victim’s parents weren’t notified until a week later through a call from the department of children services—despite the student having written a statement about the incident to school officials.

A spokesperson with the Cleveland Police Department confirmed a police report was filed.

The complaint states that school officials issued a no-contact order, the accused-student was placed in an alternative school, given a court order to attend counseling and the victim began seeking treatment for PTSD.

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