Former Brandeis Elementary parents sue JCPS over alleged sexual assault
The parents of a former Brandeis Elementary School student say their son was sexually assaulted by two female students during an exam in March 2015, according to a lawsuit filed against his teacher, principal and JCPS this week.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The parents of a former Brandeis Elementary School student say their son was sexually assaulted by two female students during an exam in March 2015, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Jefferson Circuit Court, claims the boy, who was seven at the time, and his classmates were told by their teacher, Sherry McKenzie, to stop "tattling" on one another shortly before taking a test on March 11, 2015.
At some point during or right after the test, two female students inappropriately touched and sexually assaulted the boy, according to the lawsuit. The boy did not “call our for help” because of the teacher’s instructions to stop tattling, according to Louisville attorney Nick Naiser, who is representing the boy and his parents.
The lawsuit alleges the incident occurred because of a lack of supervision and the child suffered “severe physical and psychological injuries."
"This is a case where a little boy wasn't watched closely enough by his teacher," Naiser told WDRB on Friday. "This is something that could have been avoided and unfortunately, it was not."
Naiser said the parents ended up withdrawing both the boy and his sibling out of Brandeis and JCPS. He and his sibling are now being home-schooled, Naiser said.
The lawsuit names McKenzie, Jefferson County Public School Superintendent Donna Hargens and Brandeis Elementary principal Shervita West-Jordan as defendants.
"This is about making sure that our children are safe in Jefferson County Public Schools," Naiser said. "The parents want other children to feel safe. Their son should not have had to go through this. We need to make our classrooms safer."
JCPS does not comment on pending litigation.
In an interview with WDRB last March, the boy’s parents said nothing was done after they complained to JCPS and the two girls responsible were already back in the classroom.
At the time, a JCPS spokesman confirmed the alleged incident happened at the school, located at 2817 W. Kentucky St., and added that "because the allegation was a crime, we turned it over to authorities, who then turned it back to us. It is an open investigation at this time."
WDRB has requested a copy of any investigations involving the boy.
Naiser said Friday the district conducted at least two investigations and according to documents given to the boy's family, "the first investigation came back inconclusive and the second investigation came back unsubstantiated."
"We do know that one of the students involved was given a two-day suspension," Naiser said.
The family is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.
Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or@tkonz on Twitter.
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