It began with racist taunts and pranks, escalated to physical harassment and ended, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Idaho, in a horrific act of rape by three white high school football players against their mentally disabled, African American teammate. The 10-million lawsuit filed by the black teenager has thrown a small, mostly white Idaho town into the spotlight, shocking residents in a quiet community previously known mostly for its corn and potato farmers. Filed against Dietrich High School, where the incident allegedly occurred in October, the lawsuit says one student held back the victim, another shoved a coat hanger into his anus and a third kicked the hanger in. It says the rape was the final blow in a series of racist taunts and forced simulated sex acts by teammates that were ignored by school administrators. The student was taken to two hospitals for treatment of his injuries.
News outlets cite a West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Department release that says 30-year-old Donald Barbier has been charged with one count of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile and five counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile. The release says Barbier is an athletics volunteer at Port Allen High, but the school superintendent, Wes Watts, says Barbier was never a formal volunteer or paid employee.
The lawsuit names the coach, Galena High School principal and Washoe County School District, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported. Bullying by a coach runs afoul of district policy, said lawyer Terri Keyser-Cooper, who is representing Mateo Lemus, Bryan Madison and Jake Berger. Coach Steve Struzyk, who has coached the team for 15 seasons, could not be reached for comment. The lawsuit says Struzyk stripped the team captains of their leadership roles in front of the rest of the varsity players after the school discovered the three athletes had used an over-the-counter, testosterone-boosting supplement. The Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association does not prohibit the supplement, Keyser-Cooper said.
The parents of a 13-year-old boy who opened fire in an Indiana middle school last year said their son's actions were "unforeseeable" and deny any responsibility for them. The boy's parents responded Monday to a lawsuit brought by the parents of Ella Whistler seeking damages for her injuries suffered in the May 25 shooting at Noblesville West Middle School. The girl was shot seven times and suffered injuries to her face, neck, hand and upper chest. One gunshot severely damaged an artery in her right arm and had to be replaced. Whistler was honored recently at an Indianapolis Colts game.
Four former high school students are suing the Redlands Unified School District, alleging they were sexually harassed and abused by a teacher, but were told to keep quiet when they reported his behavior to school officials. An administrator told one student in 2012 that then Redlands High School math teacher, Kevin Kirkland, would be disciplined as long as she "did not go to the press," according to the lawsuit filed this week in San Bernardino County Superior Court. The suit alleges district officials knew of problems with Kirkland going back to 2006. In 2016, the district tried to dissuade a student from reporting the assault to police, according to the suit. Kirkland, 58, was arrested in April 2016 and subsequently pleaded guilty to molesting four female students from May 2015 to May 2016 and sentenced to two years in prison.