Additional Plaintiffs File $5M Federal Suit Alleging Clatskanie Middle High School Condoned Se

Two additional girls have joined 15-year-old Josi Harrison in a federal complaint against Clatskanie School District and its principal, Jeff Baughman. The suit alleges that the school failed to follow its own policies regarding sexual harassment.
 
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Oct. 21, 2013 - PRLog -- Two additional female minors have come forward and joined fifteen-year-old Josi Harrison in a federal complaint against Clatskanie School District and its principal, Jeff Baughman. The suit alleges that the school failed to follow its own policies regarding sexual harassment and that the district “created, …a hostile education environment” that allowed and condoned acts of sextortion, bullying, harassment and assault which regularly took place over a period of at least three years.

The federal suit, filed on October 15, 2013, comes on the heals of Ms. Harrison’s civil suit filed in June against ten adults and five minors alleging their involvement in the sextortion, bullying and sexual assault of the then twelve-year-old girl. That case is pending trial and continues to receive national media attention.

Both Allysun Harkleroad and Laura Lefebvre describe a series of events in which they were extorted to provide nude, semi-nude or sexually explicit photos of themselves, as well as being harassed and/or sexually assaulted -- allegations very similar to those cited by Harrison. The girls were twelve and thirteen respectively at the time these incidents began.

The federal complaint further asserts that the school district never reported the circulation of the nude photos to either the Oregon Department of Human Services or any law enforcement agency as required by law. In addition, the school never informed the girls’ parents that their daughters were being sextorted and it refused to reveal what, if any disciplinary actions were or would be taken against the boys involved.

According to Amber Lunsford, attorney for the plaintiffs, “Mr. Baughman and the school district knew this was going on, yet never investigated it, never prevented it from happening further, never implemented disciplinary actions, and never protected these girls. On top of that, the few measures that were taken involved limiting the girls’ access to educational and athletic opportunities, rather than putting such restraints on those who collected and traded the girls’ nude photos as though they were baseball cards.”

The suit describes a culture in which boys were allowed full access to the girls’ locker room, and where a game of collecting nude photos of female students for points went ignored by those in charge. Clatskanie Middle High School computers were allegedly used to disseminate nude photos of one of the plaintiffs to other members of the student body.

Complicating the matter still further is the fact that members of the Clatskanie Police Department also served as teachers at Clatskanie Middle High School, had access to Mr. Baughman, and were privy to information regarding these incidents.

That Ms. Harrison suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and a heart condition as a result of these events has already been documented in the civil complaint.  The federal complaint cites both Harkleroad and Lefebvre as having attempted suicide because of these incidents as well.

As a result, the three plaintiffs are seeking a total of no less than $5 million in damages.

Lunsford states,“It’s time to start a national conversation on these issues. Any young child of either gender, who finds themselves in an uncomfortable situation should be able to bring their concerns to a parent or responsible adult – but we also need to make sure that that adult is prepared to effectively deal with such situations when they arise.”

For more information on this case, please contact Amber Lunsford, Esq. at 916-692-8621 or via email at amber.lunsford@lunsfordlegal.com.

For further information on bullying, sextortion, or child abuse of any kind, visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children web site at http://www.missingkids.com or the Josi’s Journey web site at http://www.JosisJourney.org
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Amber Lunsford Attorney at Law PRs
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