Lawsuit claims Grayson Co. Schools covered up teacher-student relationship
The lawsuit claims a superintendent and principal knew about it all along -- and even told the student's family she should leave the school because the teacher was "loved."
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A lawsuit filed in November accuses Grayson County, Kentucky, school officials of knowingly covering up an inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a student because the teacher was popular.
In November 2016, Gavin Logsdon, a business and marketing teacher -- as well as the head baseball coach -- at Grayson County High School, was charged with third-degree rape. Police say they received a complaint about inappropriate behavior between Logsdon and a 17-year-old student.
Logsdon was 30 years old at the time.
A lawsuit filed by the victim's parents on Nov. 17, 2017 -- almost a year later -- claims administrators at the school knew about the inappropriate relationship before Logsdon's arrest, but did nothing to stop it. The suit, filed against the Grayson County Board of Education, Principal Todd Johnson, Superintendent Doug Robinson and Logsdon, claims that the inappropriate relationship began in June 2016.
Over the course of that summer, the lawsuit claims people saw Logsdon and the student together and told both Johnson and Robinson about the relationship, leading the principal to confront Logsdon about it in Aug. 2016.
During that meeting, the lawsuit claims Johnson expressed concerns to Logsdon about claims from "very reliable sources" that the student and Logsdon were seen together in Logsdon's truck behind an elementary school in Grayson County.
The lawsuit blasts Johnson, claiming that he "failed to report the illegal activity of Logsdon at any point during this time period to any law enforcement at this time or report to the state allegations of abuse. Johnson also failed to take any action to suspend or monitor Logsdon after hearing any of the allegations."
According to the lawsuit, Robinson approached Logsdon shortly after the August meeting to also confront him about the inappropriate relationship, telling him to "be careful, for no other purpose than to help Defendant Logsdon avoid getting caught committing a crime with this student."
The suit also accuses Robinson of failing to report Logsdon's activity to law enforcement at this point.
"I know that at one point the superintendent picked up Mr. Logsdon during a school day and rode around with him, saying there wasn't an investigation, but if there was, they weren't going to be able to help him," the mother of the student said in an interview with WBKO.
Furthermore, the suit claims that Johnson gave permission for the victim to be transferred into Logsdon's class, despite knowledge of the inappropriate relationship. As a result of the transfer, the suit claims that their inappropriate relationship deepened.
"I never will forget, whenever I asked her what was she thinking, you know, what was the teaching thinking, why did they think they could get by with something like this, I remember her looking at me with tears in her eyes,and she said, 'Mom, the whole school system -- they weren't doing anything about it.'" the victim's mother said in the WBKO interview.
On Nov. 22, 2016, Logsdon was arrested by Kentucky State Police after he allegedly confessed to the crime.
In response to that arrest, the lawsuit alleges that Principal Johnson met with the victim's family the following weekend, and suggested that the student either leave school for the remainder of the semester, or enroll in the district's Homebound home instruction program.
According to the lawsuit, Johnson said this was necessary, "because of how dearly persons at the School 'loved' Logsdon."
"After all of it happened, all they really told us was that it would probably be best if our daughter didn't return to school because Mr. Logsdon was so well-liked by the students, and the teachers, and the administration, that people were really upset," the victim's mother said. "And, if there were confrontations, they couldn't protect our daughter."
After Logsdon was arrested, the student was "ridiculed and subjected to repeated harassment at the School," according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that school officials knew what was happening, but did nothing, and as a result, the student had to leave the school and enroll in the district's Homebound home instruction program, as was originally suggested.
"School officials further acted to harass the minor Plaintiff, with indifference to vandalism committed on School property to the minor Plaintiff's 'senior block,'" the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit accuses Johnson and Robinson of failing to create a safe environment for the victim, and "turning a blind and indifferent eye" to the abuse and subsequent harassment that took place in its aftermath. As a result, the lawsuit asks for -- among other things -- a jury trial, as well as compensatory and punitive damages.
WDRB reached out to Superintendent Robinson Thursday morning for his comment on the lawsuit. He provided the following statement:
"We have been asked to comment regarding the allegations in the lawsuit filed by the parents of [VICTIM'S NAME WHITHHELD] against the Grayson County Board of Education, Todd Johnston, Doug Robinson and Gavin Logsdon presently pending in the Grayson Circuit Court.
As soon as this matter came to the attention of school district officials, Mr. Logsdon was suspended pending an investigation. He resigned six days later. Based on our investigation, the administrators did everything reasonably possible to protect students in the District.
This school district considers the safety of our students to be our highest priority and will continue to take any steps necessary to protect our students."
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