Sexual Assault Lawsuit Filed Against Washington Public Schools
McCLAIN COUNTY, Oklahoma - An update into an OSBI Investigation News 9 brought you back in November of 2017. The identity of the child has been concealed as “Child Doe”.
Washington Public Schools faces a lawsuit, filed on behalf of a family who claims the district did very little to protect their 14-year old son from repeated sexual assaults. Superintendent A.J. Brewer and Middle School Principal Stuart McPherson are included in the litigation, accused of failing to properly alert law enforcement.
Court documents filed at the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma state the teen was bullied, received death threats, and was sexual abused three times over the course of 18 months.
The family moved to the district in November of 2015, and say the harassment began just a few weeks later.
The child, who was in 6th grade at the time, said in February a football player restrained him, while another student sexually assaulted him as 30-40 other children in a music class watched.
Child Doe said the teacher was not in the room, but the main actor in the abuse was later suspended.
However, parents of the teen said the attacks continued and while they met with Principal Stuart McPherson, hardly anything was done. They quoted McPherson as saying it was “horseplay”.
In June of 2016, the family said their son got a text message from the student who was suspended saying, “…I am going to kill you.” They say even more threats continued in the classroom.
Again, the family reported it, but saw no action.
Around December 2016, court filings state Child Doe was “anally penetrated” by another male student athlete, reporting again fingers were used to enter his body. Child Does said it happened in the locker room after basketball practice, and during that assault, he witnessed another boy across the room, being assaulted in a similar way by a different assailant.
The teen’s family said several months went by, and in the spring of 2010 their child was sexual assaulted, just like before by a yet another student.
Child Doe did not go immediately to Principal McPherson because he says he didn’t have hope there would be a resolution.
Yet in April 2017, the family reported taking their case to Superintendent A.J. Brewer. Records show the family and child met to discuss the ongoing attacks, but said they were told again, it’s “horseplay” and “hazing among boys”.
The attorney for the family states the district violated Title IX by not having a coordinator during two academic years during the assaults. The attorney also said, if the victim were a female, administrators would have properly reported the assaults to Washington Police.
Child Doe also reported students at Washington Middle School were watching pornography in class by using the schools WiFi password, sending “dirty pictures” to each other, and that one male student-athlete was masturbating on a “basketball bus”.
Child Doe and his family say the district told them they were unable to verify the allegations and that there was nothing the district could do. They say Superintendent Brewer told them Child Doe should use a “baseball bat to defend himself against his tormentors.”
The teen requested to be held back to escape his classmates, according to court records.
The family is seeking help to pay for the teen’s therapy, punitive damages, and demanding a jury trial, which could result in further compensation.
In November 2017, and at the request of the Washington Police Department, OSBI Agents started their own investigation of the student-on-student assault.
News 9 reached out to Superintendent Brewer who said he was unaware of the suit, and could not comment on the case.
OSBI said it will likely have a report ready for this case sometime next week.