PRINCETON – The parents of a minor are suing the Board of Education of the County of Mercer after they claim it failed to supervise their son and other students.
John Doe, an infant, by and through is parents, G. Doe and R. Doe, was born in 2001 and he attends Mercer County schools, according to a complaint filed in Mercer Circuit Court.
The plaintiffs claim John Doe had an individualized education plan that was developed for him and it was changed each year to meet his needs.
During the 2014-15 school year, John Doe was in seventh grade and attended Pikeview Middle School and on May 4, sometimes around 10 a.m., the principal contacted John Doe’s father and asked him to come to the school at 1 p.m., and informed him that John Doe was not in trouble and was okay.
The plaintiffs claim R. Doe met with the principal, a vice principal and a representative of the board of education’s central office and the principal told R. Doe that two boys had been caught together with their pants down, having sex, in a bathroom stall by someone who alerted a teacher.
One of the boys was John Doe and the other was a student identified in the complaint as James Smith, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim the principal told R. Doe that his son had been penetrated by Smith and that, from the time the principal called R. Doe until his father arrived at the school, John Doe was left in the special education classroom, as was Smith.
The representative from the board’s office questioned John Doe and his father and stated that the board would contact Child Protect and a forensic investigation was undertaken and a rape kit, which included anal swabs, was completed, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim the sexual contact was inflicted upon John Doe on multiple occasions and possibly as many as 12 occasions on school premises, over a period of time.
The defendant failed and/or refused to comply with its duties toward John Doe and its failures and refusals were reckless, reprehensible, willful and wanton, malicious and in blatant and intentional disregard of the rights owed to the plaintiff, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by David B. Kelley of the Kelley Law Firm.
Mercer Circuit Court case number: 15-C-419