HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A teen and his parents are now federally suing Sumner County Schools and its school board after the boy said he was sexually assaulted by classmates on campus, mocked with racial slurs as a student of color and harassed on campus after the incident.
Lawyers for John Doe and his family said the teen was pinned down by his football teammates at Hendersonville High School, stripped of his clothes and was sexually assaulted while his teammates filmed and laughed at him. The suit said two of the teammates in the incident are facing criminal prosecution but were allowed back to campus and to the team to compete. Parents said they told the coach about the assault the day it took place.
The suit is alleging the coach told John Doe that “no one likes a tattle tale.” It also alleged he knew of the racial slurs told to this player, which included calling him a “cotton picker” and a “monkey.” The offending teens also referred to themselves as his “master.”
“No child should have to endure the everlasting horror that results from sexual assault,” attorneys for the family wrote. “But that this assault took place in the context of a federally funded school is an unconstitutional disgrace. The assault could have been avoided in the first place if Sumner County Schools had complied with its Title IX obligations to outlaw prior incidents of sexual harassment in its school programs to maintain an environment free and clear of sexual harassment and bullying. Instead, Hendersonville High School was focused on winning and allowed its players to do whatever they wanted without consequence — including regularly stripping players’ pants down and spanking each other’s bare buttocks.”
Lawyers allege that none of the teammates stepped up to help during the assault and laughed while he cleaned himself up before leaving the field house. As a result of the assault mentioned in the lawsuit, the teen boy has had to transfer schools though he’s still being harassed at his new school.
Sumner County Schools hasn’t returned NewsChannel 5’s request for comment.
The family of John Doe is asking for the court to determine the relief for damages and are asking for a jury trial.