Girl's suit alleges school ignored assault complaint

July 22, 1994

A 15-year-old junior at Chesapeake High School and her parents filed a $1 million suit yesterday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court against the school board and school officials, alleging they were negligent in how they handled her complaint that she was sexually assaulted at the school.

The suit alleges that the girl, when she was a 14-year-old freshman at the school, was sexually assaulted May 20, 1993, inside "her regularly scheduled classroom" by a 14-year-old freshman boy at the school.

The youth, whose name is being withheld, is now a 15-year-old junior at the school, according to the suit.

The suit alleges that when the girl went to the principal's office to report the assault, she had to wait 90 minutes and was then told to come back the next day "because no one had time to speak to her."

She told her parents that night and reported it the next day to the vice principal, Roy G. Skiles, and soon after that told a guidance counselor, but school officials did nothing to separate the two students for 10 days, the suit alleges.

During that period, the girl "was constantly harassed" by the assailant, the suit says.

The suit names as defendants superintendent Carol S. Parham; assistant superintendent William H. Scott; Shirley Hicks, identified as director of senior high schools; Harry A. Calander, Chesapeake's principal; Mr. Skiles; and a school employee identified only as Ms. Meyers.

It alleges that school officials knew the boy had "dangerous propensities" and had assaulted other students, but that they took no protective or disciplinary actions against him.

Juvenile court records are not public, but the suit alleges that the boy was convicted of sexually assaulting the victim in January.

The suit also says that the victim has since "experienced periods of withdrawal, anger, and other extreme emotions due to this incident. She is currently in therapy."

No trial date has been set.

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