Ex-student sues Tacoma schools over restroom rape

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TACOMA (AP) — A former student suing the Tacoma School District says school officials failed to protect her from a boy who raped her last year in a restroom at Mount Tahoma High School.

Both the girl and her guardian reported she was being harassed by a 16-year-old, according to the civil rights lawsuit filed in March in U.S. District Court.

The school district failed to put a safety plan in place and allowed the boy to remain in the same classroom with her, said attorney Nathan Roberts who is representing the girl.

The girl, now 19, is asking for $400,000 in damages, The News Tribune reported Friday.

In its response filed April 29, the district denied the claim. It said the girl spoke to an assistant principal about a boy, but the behavior never rose to the level of harassment, stalking or threats.

The district takes allegations of student misconduct seriously, said Shannon McMinimee, attorney for Tacoma Public Schools.

Police investigated the March 2012 incident but were unable to determine whether the sexual contact was consensual or not. The girl said she didn’t want to press charges; she only wanted a court order to keep him away. The boy was later suspended. Both were special education students with disabilities, according to documents.

McMinimee wouldn’t say whether the boy is back in school, citing privacy laws.