Sex assault victim sues SF school district
School officials failed to enforce a restraining order protecting a Galileo High School student who had been sexually assaulted and then ordered the victim to stop attending some school events to allow her assailant to attend, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the San Francisco Unified School District.
The lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court alleges that the victim, a recent graduate of Galileo Academy of Science and Technology, was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a male student during her sophomore year.
The assaults occurred during the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program, in which both students participated, according to her attorneys.
The victim, referred to in the lawsuit as “K.T.,” reported the assaults after learning that other female students had also experienced similar assaults by the same student.
The male student was expelled and K.T. obtained a restraining order requiring him to remain 50 yards away.
However, during her junior year, the male student re-enrolled at a different high school and turned up at JROTC events. School officials refused to enforce the restraining order and told K.T. to leave the events, the lawsuit alleges.
In her senior year, the lawsuit alleges that the principal of Galileo, Michael Reimer, drew up a schedule dividing up the JROTC events that K.T. and her assailant were allowed to attend. When she protested that he was keeping her out of most major events, he told her that if she attended, the entire team would be disqualified.
Even after her family filed a complaint and school district officials ordered that she should be allowed to attend all events, school and JROTC officials indicated they could still prevent K.T. from attending, according to the lawsuit.
As a result, K.T. lost her position on JROTC competition teams, was taunted and bullied by parents and other students and experienced “extreme emotional distress.” “She felt punished for what had happened to her,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit alleges that the district violated Title IX, a federal statute prohibiting sexual discrimination at educational institutions receiving federal funding. It alleges that the district violated other state and federal laws protecting K.T.’s First Amendment and civil rights.
SFUSD spokeswoman Heidi Anderson today said that the district can’t comment on pending litigation, but “we do want to be very clear that we take such allegations seriously.”