The Lafayette School Corporation and Lafayette Police Department are now looking into a teacher at Lafayette Jefferson High School. The teacher is charged with acting inappropriately toward a number of children. Four female students at Lafayette Jefferson High School reported to LPD late last week that a teacher there had s*exually touched them and spoken to them inappropriately.
Les Huddle, the superintendent of Lafayette School, told News 18 that the event was first reported to school authorities late on Wednesday night. Superintendent Huddle was unable to provide me with much information, including the name of the teacher accused, because the investigation with the Lafayette Police Department is still underway. He omitted saying if there were four distinct occurrences or just one involving four different people.
The alleged instructor, according to Huddle, is not presently working. He also claims that there had not previously been any problems with the teacher. According to the superintendent, they have a pre- and post-plan in place for circumstances like this one. Huddle stated, “We are right now in that post position. “ensuring that information is provided to and support is given to families and kids. Preparation involves teaching our pupils that telling someone is okay.”
Lafayette Teacher Arrested on Suspicion of Child Molesting
According to a civil lawsuit filed in Contra Costa Superior Court, Lafayette School District staff were made aware of a popular Stanley Middle School teacher fondling female pupils before the teacher was arrested in 2010 for s*exually abusing a 14-year-old girl. The girl who Michael Merrick was found guilty of assaulting s*exually in his classroom over a four-month period is suing the school system, Superintendent Fred Brill, Stanley Principal David Schrag, and former teacher Michael Merrick.
The March complaint seeks general damages, punitive damages, and compensation for past and future medical costs. Merrick, 49, avoided a trial on 25 s*ex offence charges involving the youngster by entering a plea agreement in January to six felonies. Prior to receiving a five years and eight months in state jail sentence, he confessed to the abuse in a statement to the court. In Delano at the North Kern State Prison, Merrick is completing his term.
In the legal action, the victim’s and her parents’ attorney, Rick Madsen, claims that Merrick has a history of having “inappropriate contact with female pupils.” Particularly, Madsen wrote, “Brill, Schrag, the district and its employees had previously been informed of complaints regarding Merrick and were informed and knew, or reasonably should have known, that Merrick had previously and repeatedly touched and fondled other female students at Stanley Middle School.” He asserted that staff members disobeyed laws requiring them to report abuse.
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In a phone conversation, Madsen stated, “We are not prepared to comment on the potential of further victims. The Lafayette School District would have prevented this from happening if they had upheld their own regulations, and that is outrageous.” Brill stated in an email that the district disputes the claim that staff members were aware of prior Merrick fondling but refused to report it to authorities despite Brill failing to comment on the case as a whole.
The Lafayette police chief did not answer a call. The district has provided this publication with dozens of documents pertaining to the internal management of Merrick’s arrest. The publication is still pushing for a Lafayette police report, though. In response to the Times’ Public Records Act request.
Brill stated, “The District is very concerned that in providing the report to you, that portions of it would be revealed that could impact the minor victim (Jane Doe) and others, all of whom are still in the general area and many of whom are minors. “In our perspective, simply changing their names wouldn’t address this issue. “To the district’s knowledge, no additional complaints of “wrongdoing” or “inappropriate behaviour with pupils” involving Merrick exist outside the one made by the young victim”, Jane Doe.
When Merrick was detained in October 2010, he had spent years teaching math in the Stanley wood shop. The abuse took place in Merrick’s wood shop classroom during the child’s parents’ privately funded math tutoring sessions, and Merrick had forced the victim not to disclose it.
Numerous texts Merrick sent to the victim’s cellphone with s*exual themes were among the evidence gathered by detectives with the Lafayette police. The lawsuit claims that despite the fact that paying instructors to tutor district students is strictly prohibited by school district policy, school administrators knew permitted — and even encouraged — Merrick and other teachers to do so.
Lafayette Jeff math teacher was reassigned to Tecumseh Junior High this year, after being accused of fondling student in May 2019. This week, he was arrested. https://t.co/2m1AITh7yh
— Dave Bangert (@davebangert) March 6, 2020
For more than ten years, Merrick in particular coached students on campus without being observed. The 2010 arrest of Merrick sparked widespread community attention, and in a June 30, 2011, court document, Madsen claimed that locals had begged police to identify the child victim. Madsen stated that the claimant “suffered great mental pain and rightfully feared public vengeance, humiliation, and disgrace.”
A Contra Costa judge issued an unprecedented order to seal the courtroom to the public should the victim ever take the witness stand after an online news article about a private police investigation jeopardised the girl’s confidentiality.
According to Madsen, the plaintiff “has suffered and continues to suffer significant pain of mind and body, shock, emotional distress, shame, loss of self-esteem, loss of intimate personal relationships, disgrace, humiliation, and loss of pleasure of life.” On November 2, the next hearing will take place in Contra Costa Superior Court.
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