Lawsuit claims Socastee High special needs student victim of assault, negligence

Lawsuit claims Socastee High special needs student victim of assault, negligence

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A family says their special needs daughter was assaulted and neglected by educators at Socastee High School.

The family, identified in the court documents as John, Jane and Janie Doe, says the student has an intellectual disability, vision impairment and is non-verbal.

According to the lawsuit, filed Sept. 27, Janie began attending Socastee High School in the special education class during the 2015-2016 school year.

The suit alleges the parents began to notice a change in their daughter's behavior and even found a bruise on her back.

When the mother spoke to her daughter’s teacher, the man said he had pulled Janie’s shirt off while changing her diaper and that she “purportedly banged her back against the stroller,” according to the lawsuit.

The parents questioned why the adult male teacher “would be changing Janie’s diaper as well as why her shirt would need to be removed to do so,” the suit stated.

Another allegation is that Janie was put in a “seclusion room,” which is a separate area for violent children guarded by a school resource officer.

The family reportedly met with school administrators to voice concerns, but they were not addressed. In May 2017, the plaintiffs were given a copy of an investigation report prepared by the school that “failed to identify any wrongdoing and impliedly validated the actions” against their daughter, according to court documents.

Jane and John Doe ask for an amount equal to the sum of their actual damages, including mental and emotional suffering, as well as an award of punitive damages, in amounts to be determined by a jury.

WMBF News has reached out to Horry County Schools officials seeking comment.

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