Collaborating Authors

School district failed to investigate sex abuse allegations against Redlands teacher, lawsuit alleges

Los Angeles Times

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.

High School Volunteer Accused of Sex Crimes With Student

U.S. News

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.

An Idaho town grapples with an ugly mix - high school football, racism and rape

Los Angeles Times

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.

Who is Rick Singer? Newport Beach businessman bribed schools to rig test scores, U.S. says

Los Angeles Times

William "Rick" Singer promised to help high school students get into elite colleges that seemed unattainable given their grades and test scores. He operated out of a $1.5-million Mediterranean-style home in Newport Beach. In federal court in Boston on Tuesday, Singer pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering, money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to defraud the United States in what authorities said was a scheme that funneled millions of dollars from parents to suborned university officials and coaches through a sham charity and tutoring center. Singer's schemes ranged from bribing university officials and testing administrators to doctoring standardized tests for children whose parents paid him between $15,000 and $75,000 a test, prosecutors said. He used his charity, Key Worldwide Foundation, to launder money from parents and pay off officials and coaches at elite universities, they said.

Home Free

The New Yorker

Derrick Hamilton's legal education began in 1983, when he was seventeen and in the jail for teen-age boys on Rikers Island. He'd been an enthusiastic student as a child--his family called him Suity, because he liked to wear a suit to school. But in high school he'd begun skipping classes and getting into trouble. At fifteen, he was charged with robbery and sentenced to sixty days in jail. The arrests continued, for petty larceny, assault, criminal use of a firearm. Then, in March of 1983, a bread deliveryman was fatally shot near Lafayette Gardens, the public-housing project in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where Hamilton lived, and he was charged with the murder. He insisted that he had not done it, and entered a plea of not guilty. His father, a livery-cab driver, hired a lawyer named Candace Kurtz to represent him, and she urged him to start studying in the jail's law library, so that he could better understand his predicament. Hamilton is now fifty, tall and heavyset, with a shaved head and a thin scar running down the right side of his scalp. "I took it seriously," he recalled recently, "because here's some stranger saying, 'Hey, listen. Get out of wherever you're at. Wake up, kid, this is real.' " He started spending time in the library, and eventually taught himself enough criminal law to become one of the most skilled jailhouse lawyers in the country. But, in the fall of 1983, two months after Hamilton turned eighteen, a jury found him guilty. He was given thirty-two years to life for the murder and for an earlier, unrelated gun charge, and was sent to Elmira Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison near the Pennsylvania border. There he earned a high-school-equivalency diploma and took a class on how to conduct legal research. In 1985, he was sent to Siberia, as inmates call Clinton Correctional Facility, which is twenty miles from the Canadian border. In the law library there, he met a group of veteran jailhouse lawyers, one of whom gave weekly tutorials on criminal procedure. There is no job description for a jailhouse lawyer. It's an occupation born of desperation: most prisoners cannot afford lawyers, and are eligible for a free attorney only for their first appeal.