Published 12:00 am Monday, January 11, 2016

Lawsuit against SP school district alleges negligence regarding safety

By Rupert Howell
South Panola’s Schools’ superintendent, a principal and teacher have been named in a civil action seeking $2 million alleging negligence for not providing safeguards which led to a  13-year-old being sexually assaulted during the 2014-15 school year.
Filed in November in Northern District Oxford Division of Federal Court, the suit alleges the victim was involved in after school activity and excused herself to use the restroom when she was detained by two fellow students who sexually assaulted her in the boy’s locker room.
The names of the victim and perpetrators were not in the court filing and The Panolian does not print the names of abuse victims.
The civil action complaint only includes the plaintiff’s side of the event.
When asked for comment from the School District spokesman Jeff Eubanks stated the district cannot comment on pending litigation.
Named in the suit were Superintendent Tim Wilder, principal Charles Stevenson and teacher Brittany Navarro.
The complaint also states that the incident was recorded on cameras located within the school and the parent was notified the following morning, May 13, 2015 after the incident.
“Defendants, individually and in their official capacities as a teacher, principal and superintendent within South Panola, breached their duty to the Plaintiff by failing to provide sufficient safeguards to insure that  (the victim) as well as grounds of Batesville Junior High School were property supervised to minimize the risk of harm . . .,” the complaint states.
The suit cites the sexual nature of the crime and states as a result of indifference or omission, defendants created and allowed to continue an intimidating, hostile, offensive, and abusive school environment that violated Title IX  . . . and deprived the victim of access to educational opportunities or benefits provided by South Panola.
David Slocum of Senatobia is listed as attorney for the plaintiff. Court filings indicate a jury trial is being sought.

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