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Suit Says Teacher Didn't Report Abuse

January 23, 1991

FOUNTAIN VALLEY — A Fountain Valley High School student has filed a lawsuit against school officials, alleging that a teacher knew she was being molested by her mother's boyfriend but failed to inform the mother or authorities.

Fountain Valley High Principal Mike Kasler said Tuesday that he was not aware of the suit and would comment at a later time. Other Huntington Beach Union High School District officials named in the lawsuit could not be reached for comment.

According to the suit filed in Superior Court in Santa Ana, the girl began having severe academic and personal difficulties when she learned that her mother's boyfriend was about to move back into her home. She told a girlfriend that she was being sexually molested by him, the suit says.

In or about January, 1988, a teacher asked the girl's friend "what was wrong" with her, and the friend told the teacher of the abuse, the lawsuit alleges.

However, it was not until early fall of 1988--when the plaintiff's mother met with the teacher to discuss a failing grade that her daughter had received--that the teacher informed the mother, the lawsuit alleges. State law requires school officials as well as doctors and other professionals to report suspected child abuse.

The suit alleges that when the mother met with school officials to complain, she was told, "We can't report every allegation of abuse or molestation," and "There are just too many of them, and we aren't going to do anything about it."

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