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$2M suit alleges peer sex abuse at P.G. County school

The parents of a Prince George’s County elementary school student filed a $2 million lawsuit Tuesday against the school board, claiming administrators at the Robert Goddard Montessori School ignored their complaints that their son was being sexually harassed by a male classmate.

The harassment began with sexually explicit comments in October 2008, when the boy was in fourth grade at the public school, and escalated over the next 20 months to include being forced to perform sexual acts on the tormentor in the school bathroom, according to the complaint filed in Prince George’s County Circuit Court.

The boy, now 11, and his parents complained frequently to school administrators, who did nothing to protect the child — even when the father insisted they review tapes from security cameras the school kept in hallways and at bathroom entrances, the lawsuit claims.

The boy has been seeing a psychiatrist since July 2010 and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the complaint.

His parents, identified in court papers as John and Jane Doe, withdrew him from the Seabrook school.

The parents seek $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages against the school board.

“It is like a parent’s worst nightmare when you find out your child has been sexually abused in school,” said the parents’ attorney, Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum, of Brown, Goldstein & Levy LLP in Baltimore. “It could have been prevented if the parents had been listened to. They feel really, really let down by the school.”

Briant Coleman, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County Board of Education, declined to answer questions regarding the lawsuit.

“We do not comment on ongoing litigation,” he said.

4 comments

  1. what does Montessori have to do with this??

  2. As a parent of a student at this school, I am very concerned. Not just at the allegations, but I am even more concerned at the lack of communication from the school and the county. There has been no mention of sexual abuse at the school. In fact when I brought up the news article with my son’s teacher, she tole me that the letter sent from the super intendant was because of anti-bullying week and not in response to anything that has happened at the school. The principal has not even informed her teachers that there was a news article, and that they might have concerned parents coming to them. I am amazed at the lack of communication from all involved, and am seriously considering pulling my child out of the school and the county system. The principal needs to go now.

  3. Robbert Goddard school has two magnet schools on it’s property- a public pre-k to 8th grade Montessori and a k-8th French immersion school

  4. Former RGMS student

    As a former student of Robert Goddard Montessori school (’10), I must say I am shocked and down right disgusted. I am not only disgusted because the Montessori program creates a warm and inviting environment where harm to other students is NOT tolerated, however I am disgusted because i have siblings, cousins, and close friends who still attend the school. It has come to my attention the the harasser still attends the school, this saddens me greatly. This news is extremely overwhelming causing my whole family stress. As for Ms.Schwab, I am extremely appalled because she has a warm heart. Whomever this harasser may be, the should be brought to EXTREME justice!