West Virginia Record

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Parents of 6-year-old allegedly sexually assaulted at school sue Mingo County Board of Education


By Kyla Asbury | Jul 16, 2019

WILLIAMSON — A mother and father are suing the Mingo County Board of Education after their 6-year-old was allegedly sexually assaulted while on school grounds by another student.

Billy Jack Ellis and Kayla Ellis, parents of K.E., a 6-year-old student enrolled at Gilbert PK-8, filed the lawsuit against the school board after an incident occurred at the school, according to a complaint filed in Mingo Circuit Court.

K.E., a first-grade student, was at school when a fifth-grade student allegedly sexually assaulted her by going into the girls' bathroom, crawling under the stall and inappropriately touching K.E., according to the suit.

The Ellises claim kindergarten and first-grade students have their own restrooms and K.E. was using the proper restroom. The school also requires a "buddy system" when students leave the playground to go to the restroom, but, during this particular incident, the teacher had reportedly given K.E. the teacher's key card and instructed her to use the restroom by herself.

After the alleged incident occurred, K.E. completed an interview at the Mingo County Child Advocacy Center and the West Virginia State Police were involved in the matter, according to the suit.

The board failed to protect K.E. from the alleged sexual assault and if the board had not been negligent, K.E. would not have suffered the injuries she sustained, the complaint states.

"That defendant board was negligent in its supervision of its employees and that negligence was the actual and proximate cause of plaintiff's injuries," the complaint states.

The Ellises claim their child was emotionally and physically injured due to the defendant's negligence and that the board's actions were atrocious, utterly intolerable, extreme and outrageous. The defendants' alleged actions caused K.E. to suffer severe emotional distress and the board's actions were done with malice and without regards to the well-being of K.E., according to the suit.

The Ellises are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are represented by Justin Marcum of Marcum Law Office in Williamson.

Mingo Circuit Court case number 19-C-59

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