City to Pay $ 650,000 Settlement for Sexual Assault Allegations of Boston Public School Students
The city of Boston will pay a $ 650,000 settlement in a federal lawsuit filed by five groups of parents from Boston public schools who allege a student sexually assaulted their children and the school failed. failed to protect them.
The student at Mission Hill K-8 School in Jamaica Plain, referred to in court documents as “AJ”, allegedly sexually assaulted several students in 2015 and 2016.
Allegations made by parents in court documents indicate that AJ fiddled with students, forcibly touched and exposed students’ genitals, and threatened physical violence if they refused.
In one allegation, a student remained in the same class as AJ for months after an assault.
“(The student) lived in fear of being assaulted again,” the court documents read.
Another student was allegedly groped by AJ and was also allegedly forced to expose his genitals. In September of the 2016-2017 school year, the student was even assigned to sit next to AJ, during which time there were further alleged assaults.
Parents of the students said Mission Hill staff and principal Ayla Gavins were aware of the incidents and did not take appropriate action.
They said Gavins discouraged teachers from submitting assault reports and even fired a teacher for filing a report on AJ.
“No action, such as closer monitoring, assigning an assistant to AJ, removing AJ from Mission Hill School, or warning other staff of AJ’s actions, is was undertaken to ensure that AJ would not sexually assault other students, “the parents’ complaint read. .
The plaintiffs wrote: “As a direct and immediate consequence of the actions and failings of the defendants, (the students) suffered physical injury, indignities, humiliations, severe emotional distress, mental anguish and injury to integrity. bodily.
The City of Boston attempted to dismiss the complaint and in the settlement agreement, Boston Public Schools did not admit any wrongdoing.
The city’s response said parents have failed to prove the city is deliberately indifferent to the alleged assaults. The response read: “Deliberate indifference is a high standard, requiring more than just vague claims associated with buzzwords.”
The lawsuit was filed in 2017 and the settlement was approved by the court on Monday.
The Herald tried to reach Gavins for comment, but a BPS spokesperson said she no longer works with the district. Charges specifically against Gavins were dismissed by the court.