This has been working on me for a couple of days now, since I first saw it. I have calmed down now, but I was livid when I first read it.
A California school was the site of a staff member molesting a 17 year old disabled student, on school property. I have a big problem with this story, because this person is a minor child, but also with the actions of the school board in this case. The article details how the school district, in this case Santa Ana Unified School District, had the first instinct to cover it up and pretend it didn’t happen. The student’s mental capacity was said to be that of a seven year old.
The criminal former school employee was arrested and pleaded guilty.
I’ll let Raw Story pick up the details from here.
Now, a year after the aide’s guilty plea, the parents of the student have brought a civil suit against Gonzales for causing mental and physical trauma to their daughter and also against the school district for negligence. As a result, the district’s lawyers are fighting back — hard.
In a filing with the Orange County Superior Court, the attorneys claim that the wheelchair-bound girl “chose to encounter the known risk” of being alone with Gonzalez, that she “consented to” him lifting up her shirt, and that her injuries were the result of her having “failed to use due and reasonable care for her own safety and protection.”
They also charge her parents with having “negligently, carelessly and recklessly supervised, monitored, controlled and instructed the minor plaintiff so as to legally cause and contribute to her injuries and damages, if any.”
It goes on to detail that the school district lawyers also made a motion to have the parents to pay the legal fees of the district.
In light of intractable problems in this country’s schools, this serves as an example of all the wrong things happening. Parents had complained as far back as 2005 about Gonzalez, and the district ignored their pleas. Virginia schools have had their problems (TC Williams, Roanoke, etc.) but I can’t believe this is the way this was handled by a supposedly professional group of people in this district.