Family of autistic boy filed a discrimination lawsuit against Bainbridge School District, citing sexual harassment

Legal news for Washington discrimination attorneys. Autistic boy endured harassment and sexual harassment while at school, in which the school never corrected.

A Bainbridge High School autistic boy endured sexual harassment while at school, promoting a discrimination lawsuit.

Bainbridge, WA—A lawsuit has been filed by the family of a former Bainbridge High School student who suffered from autism, which alleges the school district allowed discriminatory acts against the student. The discrimination lawsuit was filed on February 12, 2010 in the Kitsap County Superior Court, as reported by the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

The plaintiffs, Jay and Jan Webster, claim that their son, who was 15 at the time and suffers from autism, endured harassment and sexual harassment over 75 times by four fellow students at Bainbridge High School. The harassment reportedly occurred between September 2006 and January 2007. The lawsuit contends that the boy routinely endured “malicious harassment, bullying, sexual assault and indecent exposure’… due to his disability, and that the district ignored the abuse and systematically failed to take any action.” Four students reportedly exposed themselves to the victim and they made contact with him with their genitalia. After the family contacted the school district on four separate occasions, in which no corrective measures were taken, the bullying then began to take a new form in “cyber bullying.” The cyber bullying went as far as students posting demeaning photos on MySpace of the boy, in which his parents contacted the high school principal, but nothing was done to address the issue.

The four students who sexually assaulted the victim were later arrested after Jan Webster was granted a sexual assault protective order by the Kitsap County Superior Court, which sparked a criminal investigation. Three of the students plead guilty in juvenile court, and had their charges reduce to indecent exposure; the fourth student went to trial in May 2007, in which he was found guilty of one count of malicious harassment and two counts of indecent exposure.

The lawsuit is seeking “special damages, including those resulting from medical and psychological treatments, as well as general damages, which include physical, emotional and emotional injury as a result of the harassment and abuse.”

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Washington discrimination lawyers.

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