Union County High School administrators failed to discipline or report a teacher who was sexually harassing and assaulting a female student, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the student’s mother.
The student was the subject of continual sexual harassment and abuse from a teacher, Ray Lincoln Head II, the lawsuit says. It alleges that Head committed a “pattern of overt and sexually suggestive verbal and physical acts” against the student.
Some of those acts happened in front of other students, the lawsuit says. Other students and teachers reported the incidents to Union County High School Principal Linda Harrell and Vice-Principal Carmen Murphy, but the administrators “continued to fail to act,” according to the lawsuit.
The suit says Harrell did later start an internal investigation at the school, but she did not report the allegations to law enforcement or the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.
The suit notes that Head was indicted for three counts of sexual battery in May 2016.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and lists Union County, Union County Public Schools, Harrell, Murphy and Head as defendants. It calls for a jury trial and a total of $8 million in compensatory and punitive damages from the defendants.
WBIR 10News is not identifying the mother because that could identify her daughter, who is a minor.
(© 2016 WBIR)