Her gay son's school refused to report his sexual assault. Now, his mom is suing for punitive and compensatory damages.
Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault, Homophobia
A gay teen in Morgantown, West Virginia, endured homophobic abuse and was allegedly raped by fellow peers in his school in 2017. His mother had contacted the appropriate authorities in February 2017, but her complaints were not registered and subsequently ignored. Not only did the young boy have to confront his bully and rapist during school hours, but he never received the justice he deserved. Therefore, his mother is now taking matters into her own hands and suing for punitive and compensatory damages, reports WV News.
The concerned mother has already filed the lawsuit against a long list of perpetrators involved in the case: the Monongalia County Board of Education, one of its teachers, a community program for youth, three individuals who allegedly raped her son, and finally, the educator’s alleged failure to report. The lawsuit was filed by the mother-son duo's attorney Ronald Kramer and affirms that "sexuality has been, and remains, a motivating factor behind the defendants sweeping this outrageous conduct under the rug." Similar to many boards of education across the United States, homophobia is still rampant and an accepted part of school life.
In addition to this, the lawsuit contends that "discovery will exhibit that the Monongalia County Prosecuting Attorney’s office declined to prosecute... Which may have been motivated, in whole or in part, by its statutory relationship as counsel for the Monongalia County Board of Education." As per the lawsuit and the mother's affirmations, an educator was informed in February 2017 that her son had been both physically and verbally assaulted by another boy and "one or more other minor children." Furthermore, the principal, too, was told "about homophobic verbal assaults towards" the young teen.
However, the executive director of the community program failed to “take reasonable preventative or remedial measures." Instead, the principal suggested that the mother simply contact “each student and their parents concerning bullying, and specifically bullying (gays),” which the plaintiffs believe was a failure "to take reasonable preventative measures to protect (the boy) from the child who would eventually rape him” later on during the academic year. Even more concerningly, after the sexual assault took place, the boy complained about the incident to a teacher - who failed to report it. As per the attorney, "[The teacher] never reported the rape despite the fact that she was required to under West Virginia law. [The victim] was forced to see and interact with his assailant on a regular basis at school and activities, which caused him great pain and trauma."
Unfortunately, the same teacher continues to remain employed by the school, where she is considered by the plaintiffs as a potential threat to other students, especially those within the LGBTQ+ community. The case is even more damning for those the lawsuit is filed against as it alleges that the school board’s Title IX director confirmed to the victim’s mother that the teacher had “admitted that she failed to report the rape and other assaults.” Hopefully, the case will pan out in favor of the victim so he may finally be given the long-due justice he undoubtedly deserves.