Lawsuit: 11-year-old girl sexually abused more than 50 times by fellow students
LOS ANGELES - The Walnut Valley Unified School District, located in the eastern portion of Los Angeles County, responded Friday to a negligence and racial discrimination lawsuit filed this week on behalf of a Black girl who was allegedly sexually abused more than 50 times at school by fellow students, did not directly address the claims but said the safety of everyone is the district's top concern.
The now 11-year-old plaintiff is identified only as L.C. in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit filed Tuesday, which alleges negligent supervision of minors, racial discrimination, breach of a duty to report suspected child abuse and a violation of the state Civil Code.
"The health, safety and security of all district students, faculty and staff remains our highest priority and has a zero-tolerance policy for misconduct or abuse of any kind," the statement released by the WVUSD reads.
"The district continues to provide high levels of training to ensure staff and students have everything they need to be safe and successful."
Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.
According to the statement, the district is "committed to open and transparent communication with students, parents, faculty, staff and the community."
The plaintiff began attending C.J. Morris Elementary School in Walnut as a kindergartener in the fall of 2014. The abuse began during the 2016-17 school year, when she and other second-graders were taken on a field trip to Cal Poly Pomona, the suit says.
While returning to Morris Elementary, a boy sitting next to the plaintiff forced her to touch him, an act he repeated multiple times on subsequent dates all over the campus, including in the classroom, according to the suit. He also induced her to commit more serious sexual acts with him, the complaint alleges.
When the plaintiff reached the third grade in the fall of 2017, the same boy who allegedly abused her the previous school year told his male friends what he had done to her, according to the lawsuit.
"Then, he and the other male students -- at least five others -- proceeded to sexually abuse plaintiff multiple times all over campus, including in (the) classroom, the administration building, the library and the school bathrooms," the suit says.
The alleged acts of sexual abuse happened more than 50 times, according to the suit, which further alleges the district showed racial prejudice toward the plaintiff by accusing her of making up her accounts of sexual abuse, by failing to adequately punish the boys who attacked her, all but one of whom were not Black, and by not easing her fears she could be abused by the same boys if she returned to the school.