When a child is raped at school, she counts on her family and her community to support her through the ensuing legal process. EDLA-affiliated attorney Luther Sutter is representing a kindergartener with special needs who was raped in a mixed-age “Alternative Learning Environment” last fall, while the ALE teacher was distracted by looking at her phone. EDLA is raising money to fund living expenses for the child and her family while they progress through a lawsuit against LakeSide School District. (Read the complaint here.)
This little girl in this case had been diagnosed with a disability prior to her placement in the ALE. Therefore, her family contends she should have been provided with Special Education accommodations instead of being excluded from her home school as punishment for behavioral issues caused by her disability. If the district had provided her with adequate support in her home school, Mr. Sutter argues that this kindergartener wouldn’t have been victimized by two middle-school-aged students forcing her to perform oral sex on another student.
Since this child is one of LakeSide’s low-income students, her family is fighting against nearly insurmountable financial odds to meet her physical and psychological needs as she struggles to recover from the trauma of these events. If the family prevails in federal court, the school district will be required to pay for these costs -- but that’s a long wait for a family in crisis.
Today, EDLA donated $1000 directly to this child's parents as a first step toward building a strong safety net beneath them and their daughter while they prepare for their day in court. We are raising more money to help them with living expenses as the case progresses.
Please consider donating to EDLA to support this case and others like it.