HOUSTON – A former student at Cesar Chavez High School claims in a lawsuit filed against the Houston Independent School District that he was sexually assaulted by a fellow student.
According to attorney Chris Feldman, who is representing the former student, his client has autism and was 16 when the assault happened.
“He was repeatedly raped in a bathroom by another student at HISD and he reported this to his teacher,” Feldman said. “Nothing was done.”
Feldman said it wasn’t until a second teacher became aware of the situation a few weeks later that HISD officials took any action.
The lawsuit, filed against both HISD and the teacher who was in charge of the student’s care, alleges the attack has caused intellectual regression.
In court documents, HISD’s legal team said the former student, who functions on a kindergarten or first-grade level and has extremely low social skills, has not claimed that he was “deprived of any educational benefit.” The district’s lawyers described the former student’s allegations as vague.
Feldman said HISD’s position seems to call in to question the former student’s credibility because of his disability.
In a written statement issued to KPRC 2 on Wednesday, district officials called the allegations made in the lawsuit “categorically false.”
The entire statement follows:
“HISD does not typically comment on pending litigation, but given the seriousness of the allegations in this lawsuit, the District feels compelled to respond. In this case, it is alleged that a student was sexually assaulted by another student and that a teacher was aware of the harm but did nothing in response. That allegation is categorically false, and the District has evidence to present to the Court supporting this position at the appropriate time. At this stage in the litigation, the Court is not considering disputed facts between the parties. The Court is in the process of reviewing pleadings, and other relevant documentation, to determine whether the student and his parent have met the minimum legal requirements for stating a claim under the law governing Title IX disputes. It is HISD’s position that the minimum legal requirements for a claim under Title IX have not been met in this case. As always, HISD is committed to providing a safe educational environment for all of its students, and takes any allegation involving harm to a student very seriously.”