Monongalia County school system defendants have been dismissed from an October 2019 lawsuit in which a woman claimed a student raped her son and the school system didn’t properly respond.
It’s unclear what the suit still alleged at the time of a March 31 settlement because the most recent amendments to the complaint, which contains a case’s core allegations, were sealed from public view.
The Monongalia Board of Education and a group of school system employees named as defendants were dismissed from the case last month as part of the settlement, which paid the son and the law firm representing him a combined $200,000. The son is now the plaintiff and is represented by Bridgeport attorney Ron Kramer.
The state Board of Risk and Insurance Management, which insures the county school system, paid the money.
Both sides signed the settlement. The school system defendants admitted to none of the allegations. The Gazette-Mail obtained the agreement through an open records request.
In the original complaint and an amended version filed a year ago, the mother claimed her son told Morgantown High School teacher Lauren Tosh in November or December 2017 that he’d been raped in May of the same year. The mother alleged Tosh failed to report the claim as required by law. The mother also accused the school system of failing to meaningfully investigate or respond.
In a court filing in response to the first amended complaint, Tosh said the son told her in November 2018 about being raped “outside of school and prior to attending Morgantown High.” Tosh denied failing to report the allegation. In their response, both the board and Tosh said the son told her he’d been raped.
The lawsuit cites the state’s mandatory reporter law, which requires teachers who have “reasonable cause to suspect that a child is neglected or abused” to immediately report to the state Department of Health and Human Resources and, in cases of sexual abuse and assault, to state police.
The board said in its answer that, in 2019, the mother reported her claims to the board and county schools Superintendent Eddie Campbell.
The case was transferred from Monongalia Circuit Court to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.