With the help of Robert M. Bastress III from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, the mother of a severely disabled student at Milton Middle School sued Cabell County Schools. She claims the school failed to protect her son from sexual abuse from his aide.
The first instance of the sexual abuse took place on October 15, 2019. A teacher witnessed the aide, Jason Curry, inappropriately touching the student while holding the child on his lap. This instance was not reported or documented by school personnel. The parents didn’t learn about this first instance until much later. They say that documentation and reporting could have prevented further abuse of their child.
The second instance of sexual abuse occurred on November 22, 2019. In this instance, the abuse escalated, and a teacher reported that Curry was “forcibly fondling” the child while holding him on his lap. This led to the principal reporting the incident to the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, and Curry was arrested three days later.
The student’s disability made him unable to tell his parents about the abuse he was experiencing. His parents filed a claim against Cabell County Schools because they failed to inform them and document the first instance of sexual abuse, which could have prevented any further abuse from happening.
Additionally, teachers and school workers are mandated reporters. This means they are legally required to report suspected child abuse to the authorities. All personnel sign statements saying they understand that they are required to report this.
Not only did they illegally fail to report the abuse that the student was experiencing, but the issue is made worse because the student isn’t able to communicate because of his disability. The school had an even greater responsibility for reporting and intervening if they suspected this child was being abused.
Jason Curry received a felony charge of second-degree sexual abuse over a year ago. He does not work for the school system anymore.
Bastress is seeking a jury trial.