Lawsuit filed in school bus sexual assault - FOX Carolina 21

Lawsuit filed in school bus sexual assault

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A former student is suing Greenwood School District 50 after a sexual assault happened in 2013. (FOX Carolina: 8/16/2014) A former student is suing Greenwood School District 50 after a sexual assault happened in 2013. (FOX Carolina: 8/16/2014)
GREENWOOD, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A lawsuit has been filed against Greenwood School District 50 and several administrators in wake of a 2013 incident in which a student with special needs was sexually assaulted on a school bus, according to Edward McCallum, the attorney representing the student and her mother.

The personal injury lawsuit was filed Aug. 12, 2014.

McCallum's lawsuit claims that school officials were negligent in allowing the Sep. 6, 2013, incident to take place.

McCallum said the school district knew exactly what type of student they were dealing before the assault happened.

"She was too kind, and too naive, and other students took advantage of that to her detriment... Previously, I'm not going to say assaulted but I'm going to say approached in a sexual manner in the school. Her brother intervened, as a result of that her brother was suspended and despite that situation the school district decided to take her shadow away from her," said McCallum.

McCallum said a shadow was appointed to her because of her mental disabilities.

In a 60-page lawsuit filed against several defendants, including Greenwood School District 50, McCallum said the school district acted with gross negligence when it failed to follow federal laws including Title IX and Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act.

McCallum also added the district acted with negligence when it allowed students with special needs and students from an alternative school to ride the same bus without proper supervision and without separating the two groups.

"Who thought that it was a good idea to put the worst behaved, most aggressive students on a school bus with the most vulnerable population of the school, that's beyond my comprehension," said McCallum.

School officials confirmed in 2013 that students with special needs ride the bus with other students, depending on the route.

In response to the lawsuit, FOX Carolina received the following statement from District 50:

"The District cannot further comment on this matter now that there is pending litigation. The Superintendent wishes to make it clear that the well-being and safety of all students is a top priority and the District in no way condone or tolerates any inappropriate conduct between students. If information is ever presented to the administration that any such inappropriate conduct may have taken place, the District immediately investigates and handles each situation as appropriate, including notifying law enforcement, if warranted."

The 17-year-old victim's mother told Greenwood county deputies the teen was videotaped performing oral sex on another student. The mother notified deputies after seeing the video on Facebook.

Deputies reported that the special needs girl consented to the sex act so a group of males who persuaded her would be her friends.

McCallum said after the incident, the district did not immediately transfer the student or place her on a different bus.

"Despite repeated requests, her teachers continued to talk to her about it. She was assaulted in the hallway by the friends of the alleged perpetrators," said McCallum.

Since the assault, McCallum said his client has been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

He said he tried to resolve this matter outside of the courtroom, but Greenwood District 50 would not agree to a settlement.

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