Lawsuit: School Officials Convince 14-Year-Old Special Ed Girl To Be Bait For Sexual Predator . . . Girl Is Raped and School Officials Deny Any Responsibility

Sparkman Middle SchoolThere is a horrific story out of Huntsville, Alabama, where school officials are being sued after a 14-year-old girl with special needs was allegedly used as bait to catch a student sexual predator. A lawsuit states that the girl reluctantly agreed, but that she was then trapped by the boy and anally raped in a bathroom. The school later suggested that the sex may have been consensual and denied responsibility. The case has prompted the Justice Department to file a brief in favor of the girl in the litigation, a relatively rare move in such a case.

According to the lawsuit, a teacher’s aide was intent on catching a boy who had been accused of sexual misconduct and had previously propositioned this girl to have sex at the school.

Sparkman Middle School vice principals Jeanne Dunaway and Teresa Terrell are named as being concerned about a complaint that they boy had touched a girl inappropriately and had assigned him to in-school suspension. A few days later, June Simpson, a teacher’s aide at the Huntsville-area school, allegedly told the principal, Ronnie Blair, that the boy had “repeatedly tried to convince girls to have sex with him in the boys’ bathroom on the special needs students’ corridor” and had actually had sex with one student. Blair said that he could could not be punished unless “caught in the act.” The boy and the girl in that incident denied having sex but Simpson asked that the boy be “constantly monitored.”

The complaint states that, on January 22, 2010, the boy approached a 14-year-old girl with special needs who had already declined his “recent, repeated propositions” for sex. Simpson then allegedly encouraged the girl to “meet (the boy) in the bathroom where teachers could be positioned to ‘catch him in the act’ before anything happened.” The girl reportedly declined but later agreed. The complaint states that the girl and Simpson briefed Dunaway on the plan who “did not respond with any advice or directive.” That would seem, if true, clear negligence for a school official to be told of a student being used as bait for a possible sexual predator and not put a stop to it.

After leaving Dunaway’s office, the girl reportedly found the boy in the hallway and agreed to meet for sex. However, the boy insisted on going to the sixth-grade boy’s bathroom rather than the agreed upon boy’s bathroom on the special needs students’ corridor. No teachers were at the bathroom and, while the girl says that she tried to stall the boy, he eventually anally raped her.

The police were called and the girl (who was uncommunicative) was taken to the hospital. Prosecutors refused to bring a case because the girl was not communicative. Moreover, vice principal Terrell “testified that she didn’t know whether (the girl) had consented to the assault” after reviewing pictures from the investigation. The matter was listed by the school as merely “inappropriate touching a female in boys’ bathroom.” The brief states that Vice principal Dunaway testified that the girl was responsible for herself once she entered the bathroom.

The boy was only suspended for five days and sent to an alternative school. However, he was later allowed to return to Sparkman after about 20 days.

Even if one were to accept that the rape allegation is not proven, the negligence of the school is clear if this account is true and officials decided to use the girl as bait. The boy reportedly had a long history of sexual and other misconduct in school and Sparkman Middle School — including 15 violent or sex-related proven incidents of misconduct before the alleged rape. Given such a history, the alleged negligence of the officials is more pronounced in their response to the threat. However, the core issue of using a student as bait clearly makes this case so notable. I cannot imagine any reasoning that would justify such a decision, if it was indeed made by these officials.

The federal lawsuit was filed under Title IX in October 2010 against the boy, the three administrators, the teacher’s aide and the Madison County School Board.

In 2010, a district court judge allowed the father’s claims of state violations, including negligence, against Simpson and Dunaway, but dropped the boy from the lawsuit because he was a minor. The judge also rejected the federal claims — that the school district violated Title IX and that Simpson and school administrators deprived the girl of her civil rights.

Both sides appealed.

The Obama Administration filed in support of the family in its case against the Madison County School Board in Alabama. The case is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta will decide whether to accept the argument. It is an interesting twist for the Obama Administration, which has been successful in extinguishing dozens of public interest lawsuits attempting to sue it for various tort and constitutional violations. The Obama Administration often argues that litigants have no right to be heard on the grounds of standing in claims made against it.

June Simpson resigned shortly after the incident.

Ronnie Blair and Teresa Terrell are still principal and vice principal at Sparkman Middle School while Jeanne Dunaway is now principal at Madison County Elementary School. Things are less rosy for the girl who withdrew from Sparkman Middle School went to live with her mother in North Carolina. After her mother died soon after, the girl and her brother were placed with Child Protective Services in North Carolina.

Source: AL and KTLA

44 thoughts on “Lawsuit: School Officials Convince 14-Year-Old Special Ed Girl To Be Bait For Sexual Predator . . . Girl Is Raped and School Officials Deny Any Responsibility”

  1. Since the girl is under the legal age of consent AS WELL AS a special ed student, I don’t know how the hell ANYTHING that happened to her could be considered consensual.

  2. OVERREACH of the “public school” system.

    The omnipotence, arrogance and elitism of the collectivists perpetrating the “dictatorship of the proletariat.”

    “Public school” must efficiently and cost-effectively provide a basic education and advanced education for talented students funded by taxpayers with taxpayer funding diminishing by grade level. Excesses in curricula (i.e. sports, ethnic studies, etc.) must be eliminated while automation of the classroom, employing Internet and digital lectures attended in the home, must be vigorously increased, eliminating overqualified teacher positions and the requirement for “bricks and mortar.” Feeding students and law enforcement should be done by parents and police agencies respectively.

    The citizens are the sovereigns and the government is the subject. The corrupted voting system results in the predetermined, “musical chairs”-administration by the local “political machine” with dominance that imposes the dictatorship of the “school districts” for the benefit of the greedy, striking union teachers, as it indoctrinates students in collectivism with the goal of perpetuating the aforementioned “political machine.”

    The leaders of “public school” have failed the sovereigns with a product wholly incommensurate with costs. The failure has occurred of corruption and violation of the public trust which are the highest of crimes and misdemeanors.

    The OVERREACH of the “public school” education system must be corrected. The commissars and apparatchiks in charge of “public school” must be eliminated. Union contracts must be voided, nullified and terminated with extreme prejudice and contracts with unions must be made illegal. Basic teachers must provide basic education apropos of the needs of most student in “public school” the typical occupation of which is fork lift driver and dental assistant. The current overeducated and overqualified faculties must be replaced with lower paid, qualified high school graduates with teaching credentials aided by teacher assistants. Master and PhD academics can produce CD and Internet lectures for statewide and nationwide use. Lectures don’t need to be “made from scratch” daily.

    End the “overreach” of the public school indoctrination centers.

  3. I find it difficult to accept the prosecutor’s office could not find probable cause for a crime in this matter. At the very least based upon these facts alleged there could be PC for endangering the welfare of a child. That would not require the testimony from the child as was in my view what the prosecutor’s office used to wash its hands of the case.

    To me it seems clear the school attempted to sweep this matter under the rug. If this case goes before a jury the school is going to have an extremely difficult case to win.

    1. Darren, you summarize it rather nicely.

      Imagine how different they would have acted if the crime was a school shooting rather than the rape of an innocent child. I can’t imagine them using a child as bait in such a situation.

      1. Where were the girls parent(s) or guardian(s) while all this was going on? If this goes before a jury, the school is toast.

  4. The school officials belong in jail. This student was someone for whom they had an even higher duty of care than other students and they simply allowed her to be raped and then blamed the victim. Callus indifference. None of them should ever be permitted to work in education again.

  5. issac
    “The main question is how do people as stupid as this become principals, vice principals, and teachers and how do they continue working after something like this, if only half of it were true. The problem with the education system in the US is the administration(s). They are redundant, out of touch, self serving, and allow these sorts of travesties. If any part of this is true the three of them should be in jail.”

    Note that the federal judge is also (morally) criminally guilty; he seemed to have no problem with using a mentally-incompetent minor as ‘bait’.

    1. I am wondering why the parents were not involved since this involved a minor. Special-needs does not mean they are necessarily mentally incompetent.

  6. An earlier story today on the Turley blog told of four boys who may have murdered a younger boy because of gang issues. That story used the word, “depraved” to describe people who act as those boys may have acted.

    Now we have a story about depraved public school teaching and administrative staff members.

    What leads people to become depraved at any age?

    What, about human society, needs to be changed so that no one becomes depraved?

  7. Doesn’t “special needs” imply, er, special needs? What is a vulnerable child doing in a school with a sexual predator. By what authority could teachers or a school administration use any child as bait. Special needs females of all ages are prime targets for sexual predators. Common sense should suggest a single sex environment would be safer for such vulnerable people.In this instance she was set up for attack by the school authorities. Does that not make them accomplices in the crime? Meanwhile the school had absolutely no other recourse for dealing with the boy.? Did anyone enquire if he had a criminal record or was subject to psychiatric treatment? Did it not occur to anyone they this boy might need to be assessed for psychiatric treatment? What would have happened to a parent who had done this (used their own special needs child as bait).

  8. George, You know I’m not familiar w/ Edgewood. I went through the UW system of college of education when I was in my forties. It was appalling.

  9. Rich, Very true. That’s why I blame the entire industry, from schools of education to teachers. It starts w/ the hopeless schools of education, Stanford being the worst.

  10. The union bashing mostly has focused on teachers. My own experience in doing school consults was that the administrators tend to be idiots, but in their own way even more insulated from cuts or accountability than tenured teachers.

  11. Hand down a punishment. Send them back 10,000 years with a tribe in the Amazon jungle. Then have the guilty party present a report to the parole board and ask for clemency.

  12. The main question is how do people as stupid as this become principals, vice principals, and teachers and how do they continue working after something like this, if only half of it were true. The problem with the education system in the US is the administration(s). They are redundant, out of touch, self serving, and allow these sorts of travesties. If any part of this is true the three of them should be in jail.

  13. Having done investigations my entire adult life I am pretty shock proof. But, this one comes pretty damn close to shocking for me. Last night a few of us discussed w/ Olly home schooling his child. Well, this is one reason why home schooling is a booming industry as our education industry shows everyone just how depraved it has become.

  14. It just goes to show that sexual predators are smarter than school officials. How dumb are these people anyway?

  15. The puritanical response to sex isn’t the problem. It’s that schools are increasingly seeing it as an issue they need to deal with, instead of the police.

    There is not even a close relationship between hormone ravaged kids making out, or even having sex, in school and this case. If adults can’t behave in an adult fashion about sex, we certainly can’t expect kids to. Half the teachers want to pretend sex wasn’t invented, the others can’t wait to push oral sex, condoms and graphic instruction on 11-13 year olds that have no ability to handle such material. The kids don’t have a chance.

    But just like we’re seeing in college, schools increasingly feel they, as educators, have a law-enforcement type responsibility to deal with sex offenses. What they h3ll happened to calling the police? Are they too busy raiding barber shops to assist in the investigation? Teachers should not be dealing with this on their own. Call the professionals. It’s what they do. Stick with teaching the kids so they too can grow up to not understand a thing about this country, it’s government and laws, and basic civil liberties.

  16. Our public schools are no longer safe for our children. Authorities take a lax attitude toward sex because of our hedonistic culture. It is appalling to hear Dunaway say that the 14 year old minor was responsible for herself once she entered the bathroom.

    When I was in public schools, children were not allowed to make out in the hallways. Now it is commonplace. I expect more of this as our culture continues to embrace hedonism and homosexuality.

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