Education

Girl who alleged rape in school’s restrooms sues Miami-Dade schools and superintendent

A girl who claimed she was raped and sexually harassed at Carol City High School during October and November of 2017 has filed a federal court lawsuit against the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Board and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

The suit claims actions and inaction by Miami-Dade public schools employees violated the girl’s Title IX rights by showing a “deliberate indifference to sexual harassment” and retaliating against her for reporting the rapes and sexual harassment; MDCPS failed to train employees in how to deal with sexual harassment; and, along with Carvalho, demonstrated negligence in how they dealt with the entire situation.

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About the only thing anybody agrees on is that this involves three sexual encounters.

The lawsuit contends the encounters weren’t consensual, they were rape and that the Miami-Dade Public Schools officer coerced the girl, then 14, into saying they were consensual by playing on the shame she felt as a rape victim. The boys involved claimed all sex was agreed upon by all parties. The state attorney’s office close-out memo said her written statement to the school resource officer “indicated that both the encounters were consensual and non-consensual, in nature.”

The girl and each of the boys got 10-day suspensions for sexual activity on campus. The State Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute, saying the girl’s “inconsistent statements about whether the sex acts with the three boys were coerced or not” made proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt unlikely.

On Tuesday, Miami-Dade County Public Schools emailed the following statement:

“Miami-Dade County Public Schools is concerned with the well-being of every one of our students, with counselors and special programs in place to ensure their safety and health. The school district consistently addresses all reported incidents seriously, and with confidentiality, in order to preserve the dignity of the students involved. The school district has not yet been served with this lawsuit and has had no opportunity to review it. This matter was also reviewed by the State Attorney’s Office, which concluded that no further action would be taken against the alleged perpetrators.”

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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