Cleveland school system denies girl's claim that administrator mocked sexual assault claim at assembly

Staff Photo / Cleveland Middle School

Cleveland City Schools has responded to new claims that an administrator mocked a girl's sexual assault allegations at a seventh grade assembly in April, part of an ongoing lawsuit seeking $15 million over allegations of repeated sexual assaults of the student in 2019.

According to filings by the plaintiff's attorneys J. Taylor Thomas and Russell L. Leonard, the girl was repeatedly sexually assaulted while school officials looked the other way and her parents were only told days later by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

The federal lawsuit originally sought $10 million when filed in December, and that increased to $15 million in an amended filing on July 8.

The plaintiff's family claims during an April 19 meeting on the subject of sexual assault and harassment - with the alleged victim in attendance - a seventh grade administrator at Cleveland Middle School trivialized the allegations with statements such as "even if you look the wrong way, you'd probably get sued" and by likening sexual harassment to horseplay.