OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – A father has filed a federal lawsuit against Shawnee Mission schools alleging the district failed to report sexual assault accusations against a middle school boy who later assaulted his eighth-grade daughter in class.
According to court documents, the lawsuit claims the boy “forcibly put his hands down [her] pants and penetrated her" in a study hall classroom at Westridge Middle School.
The alleged incident, which took place earlier in 2017, was reportedly the fourth time the boy had been called out for similar behavior. The district, though, "chose not to report [the prior allegations] to law enforcement authorities,” the lawsuit claims.
Several members of the district's faculty were listed individually as defendants in the suit, including:
Former Shawnee Mission superintendent Jim Hinson (now retired)
Westridge Middle School Principal Jeremy McDonell
Westridge Middle School Vice-Principal Jade Peters
The court documents allege that if the district had taken appropriate actions, the latest alleged victim would not have been sexually assaulted.
Public school employees in Kansas can face a misdemeanor charge for failing to report suspected child abuse, which can lead to a $1,000 fine or up to six months in jail.
The Shawnee Mission School District's Communications Director, Erin Little, issued the following statement on Tuesday:
“The district has not been served with any legal documents on this inquiry.
We can say, without reservation, that the investigation determined these allegations have been deemed untrue and inaccurate. The district cannot comment any further, however we look forward to presenting the accurate information at the proper time and place.”
41 Action News is not identifying the father out of respect for the victim's privacy.