A Blue Valley High School graduate said district employees failed to protect him from bullying, harassment and sexual assaults because he was a boy perceived as being gay.
The 2010 graduate detailed horrific attacks he claims that he experienced from students. He said his cries for help fell on deaf ears in a lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District court in Kansas City, KS.
The graduate is suing the district, principals, vice principals and other district employees. According to the lawsuit, the young man attended Overland Trail Middle School from 2003-2006 and Blue Valley High School from 2006-2010.
"While attending Overland Trail, (the plaintiff) was subjected to severe and repeated physical and emotional assault and harassment based on his gender and perceived sexual orientation," according to the lawsuit.
The school district issued a terse statement in response to the lawsuit.
"While the district is diligently reviewing the information, as a practice the district does not comment on pending litigation," the statement read. "The safety and social well being of our students is a top priority in every school and every classroom, every day."
Girls who were bullied were protected by teachers and administrators, the lawsuit alleges. But the young man wasn't protected because of his gender and perceived sexual orientation.
Students repeatedly flung gay slurs at their classmate, according to the lawsuit. The derogatory names are too offensive to print online or share on KCTV5 News. The students also made sexually explicit comments to the student that are too graphic to repeat and discussed killing the young man. Students spread false and harmful rumors, the lawsuit claims.
Students sexually assaulted the young man and slapped him on the butt repeatedly, the young man claims.
"Fellow male students repeatedly assault (the plaintiff) in the school locker room and shower, such as rubbing against him, nude, in the shower in a sexually aggressive manner, pulling down his pants, exposing his genitals to other students, snapping him on the buttocks with towels and spraying a full shampoo bottle of urine on him while in the locker room shower," according to the lawsuit.
Attorneys for the plaintiff alleged he also encountered physical abuse that left him with long-term physical issues, including chronic sinus problems from a broken nose.
"Fellow male students repeatedly beat (the plaintiff), including kicking him, punching him in the face, hitting, kicking him out of his chair in class, placing his hand on a hot burner in cooking class, throwing balls at his face during gym class, to the point of permanent physical injury that has caused chronic medical problems," according to the lawsuit.
The young man said that he reported the abuse to teachers, safety officers and administrators.
"His reports were met with indifference, inaction, or where some action was taken, the action was wholly inadequate and ineffective," according to the lawsuit.
"A few sympathetic teachers" passed on the reports to administrators, but either nothing was done or administrators "made inadequate and feeble attempts to discipline students, only to knowingly permit the physical and emotional assaults and harassment to continue," according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiff suffered emotional and physical trauma, and as a result his grades suffered. He attended classes at another facility to escape the abuse, the lawsuit claims. He still experiences physical pain and post-traumatic stress disorder issues, and is receiving counseling.
"The harassment was so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively deprived (the plaintiff) of access to educational benefits or opportunities provided by the school district," according to the lawsuit.
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