Putnam City Schools Facing Civil Lawsuit, Accused Of Not Protecting Students
PUTNAM CITY, Oklahoma - Putnam City Schools was hit with a lawsuit, accusing the district of doing nothing to protect its students from a culture of abuse.
Four upperclassmen are accused in an attack of a 14-year-old freshman with a broomstick.
The civil suit seeking in excess of $75,000 says the school district, the high school itself, the school's former head football coach, and three of the assailants all bear responsibility for what happened.
In the weeks following the assault, concerned parents voiced their frustration with the district, demanding that more be done to protect their students.
“I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know it can’t be something where we say a prayer and hope everything turns out alright,” said one concerned parent.
After the victim was attacked in a football locker room, campus police said four students confessed to “brooming” the freshman in a type of hazing ritual, that was allegedly over looked by the head football coach.
"The point is to look at the culture that would allow something like this to happen,” said Putnam City Schools former spokesman Steve Lindley.
And while the school later vowed to make changes, court documents allege they didn't come soon enough.
The documents state Putnam City Schools was aware the hazing ritual had happened before, and "as a result of that prior incident, P.C. West employees were terminated from the football program and high school."
The school is accused of doing nothing to "stop the conduct or to protect its students."
Dawson McLain is being treated as an adult in the eyes of the court and is charged with attempted first-degree rape by instrumentation. He'll return to court in August 2019.
The family's attorney told News 9 the victim, now 15, has suffered a great deal.
News 9 reached out to the district, which said it has not been served in the case referenced.