Independence Student Claims Sexual Assault, Parents Sue WCS

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A lawsuit was filed earlier this week against the Williamson County school board, claiming the board showed “deliberate indifference” after a female student was sexually assaulted.

The parents of the student, who are referred to as John and Jane Doe in the lawsuit, filed the suit Tuesday. The student is referred to as “Janie” and the male student accused of assaulting Janie is referred to as “JJ.”

According to the lawsuit, while a freshman at Independence High, Janie was involved in an extracurricular school play in October 2016. During an on-campus practice, her parents claim a male sophomore sexually assaulted her.

While students were unsupervised and not rehearsing their roles, the suit alleges, a male student asked Janie to go on a walk and pulled her into the boys’ locker room by the arm and sexually assaulted her.

According to the lawsuit, Janie never told her parents or any school officials because of embarrassment and fear.

But in February, JJ, the male as the suit names him anonymously, performed a “social skit” in theater class depicting a sexual assault that acted out what happened to Janie and was also titled with her name.

Janie’s parents allege that she was “emotionally triggered” and left class, later reporting the October assault to the theater class instructor, the ninth grade vice principal, and the principal of Independence High. She also signed a written statement under her account of what happened, the suit alleges.

John and Jane Doe allege that the Williamson County Board of Education did not follow the law after the Independence High School principal was made aware of the incident. It claims that the principal never properly reported Janie’s claim, and the parents were told the school would investigate.

In the suit, the parents said they reported the sexual assault to police, JJ was removed from the theater class, JJ was questioned by the principal or vice principal about the assault, and two of Janie’s friends were questioned. But then they say the investigation into the assault stopped.

The lawsuit also claims surveillance video of the time and date of Janie’s assault was deleted, and she continued to see him at school and was reportedly harassed by JJ and his friends.

Janie’s parents are suing and demand a jury trial into the matter.


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