A seventh-grade boy was allegedly raped by another male student during gym class at Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy in Los Angeles two weeks ago.
The 13-year-old boy, identified only as Julian, is a special-needs student at the middle school, reports KTLA. He has the mental capacity of a six-to-eight year old.
The boy’s parents, who are also only identified by their first names, announced plans to sue the Los Angeles Unified School District on Monday.
At a press conference, Brian Claypool, an attorney retained by the family, said that Julian’s physical education teacher left Julian unsupervised during class. The alleged assailant, an unidentified eighth-grade boy, then lured Julian behind a set of bleachers and sexually assaulted him.
Julian’s mother said she filed a complaint some two months ago because she feared that other students were bullying Julian during gym class. She says school officials did nothing in response.
Both parents now argue that school officials should face criminal charges for criminal child endangerment charges, according to KTLA.
Claypool characterized the alleged incident as part of a broad failure on the part of the embattled school district to train staff and safeguard students. He argued that someone should have been monitoring the unknown assailant.
“How was he wandering throughout the school, running around, recruiting another boy to have sex with him behind a bleacher?” Claypool demanded indignantly in front of a bevy of reporters. “Does anybody at LAUSD care where the kids are during a class?”
Julian’s parents also spoke at the press conference.
“Somebody, that particular day, dropped the ball,” said the 13-year-old boy’s mother Toyian.
“You can tell he’s ashamed,” she also said. “I mean, if I was raped or assaulted, I would be ashamed.”
“I am not happy,” Julian’s outraged father Mark added. “This should never take place — not just to my son, any kid.”
The school district has released a statement concerning the alleged incident: “Allegations of student-on-student misconduct are taken seriously. Upon learning of the allegations, the school site acted to appropriately document and notify authorities of the suspected abuse. Although we cannot comment on the specific allegations or any potential lawsuit in this case, we are committed to ensuring student safety at all times.”
The Los Angeles Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into the incident.
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