Former Albany County Resident Files Lawsuit Against Albany County School District No.1
A former Albany County resident filed a lawsuit against multiple Albany County School District No. 1 employees in U.S. District Court on Friday.
The lawsuit was filed by the mother of a former Harmony Elementary School student and alleges that Albany County School District No. 1 employees failed to act to address the sexual harassment and eventual sexual assault of a six-year-old girl.
According to the suit, the female student was continually harassed by an eight-year-old boy on the bus the two children rode to school.
The bus driver allegedly reported the harassment to the Albany County School District Director of Transportation Jeff Lewis. Lewis allegedly advised the bus drivers that he knew of the boy’s misconduct and took no action.
The lawsuit claims that when Lewis was succeeded by Randy Wilkinson as Director of Transportation, Wilkinson told bus drivers and monitors not to report the boy’s behavior and to destroy any previous notes or reports on the boy.
The girl’s teacher, Susan Taucher, allegedly also knew of the misconduct and did not report it or inform the girl’s parents of any issues.
The suit claims that the harassment continued until the boy sexually assaulted the female student on the bus during a field trip in 2014. According to the suit, the defendants knew of the sexual assault and did not act to protect the girl.
ACSD1 Superintendent Dr. Jubal Yennie said the school is unable to comment on the lawsuit.
Yennie said the school district has a strict sexual harassment and discrimination of students policy in place. Yennie said that policy is currently under review, but that the review was not related to the lawsuit.