(RNN) – Parents in Michigan claim when their son was in kindergarten, he was sexually assaulted by classmates who photographed the abuse on iPads issued by the school, according to a 23-page lawsuit filed earlier this week.
Administrators, a teacher and Grandville Public Schools are named in the lawsuit which alleges they allowed the abuse to occur by showing “gross indifference” and did not investigate the matter properly when the allegations were brought to light.
The parents of the boy filed the lawsuit as John and Jane Doe, on behalf of their son Jimmy Doe as a Title IX violation for denying their son access to an education, according to MLive.com.
According to the document, the abuse began in fall 2014 and continued until spring 2015 when the boy was 5 years old. The lawsuit says that four boys took Jimmy to an area of the classroom during free time where they sodomized him and took photos of his genitals using school-issued iPads.
Anne Buckleitner wrote in the complaint that the boys directed how Jimmy Doe should pose, and that if he didn’t cooperate or told anyone, they wouldn’t be his friends and say it was all Jimmy’s idea. Buckleitner also said in the lawsuit that the boys would delete old photos to make room for new ones, MLive.com reported.
The boys then distributed the photos to other classmates, the lawsuit says, causing more harassment. Classmates would chase Jimmy Doe around the playground to get him to show his “privates.” Jimmy Doe would then try to hide underneath playground equipment and “cover himself with mulch.”
After bringing up their son’s emotional decline, the boy’s parents asked the school for a police investigation. The principal told them there was no indication of any assault.
At a later meeting, the superintendent of schools told the parents the photos had been deleted and they could move their son to a different school.
Grandville Public Schools issued a statement that they cannot publicly respond to any litigation due to privacy laws, but that “our focus is and always will be the safety and care of every student who walks through our doors.”
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