I am tired and so frustrated over this issue but here we go again.
Seattle Schools is paying out $249,999 (to avoid hitting $250k which would have triggered School Board approval) to a former student at Eckstein who says a computer teacher sexually abused her verbally and physically. This was about the time one of my sons was there and I am appalled and saddened because I thought the teacher was a good one. Maybe he was a good teacher but this settlement seems to say otherwise.
I have no idea if the Board knew this was coming.
From the Times:
A 22-year-old woman recently settled a lawsuit she filed against Seattle
Public Schools over the alleged sexual comments and abuse she suffered
as a 12-year-old at the hands of her computer teacher at Nathan Eckstein
According to Beauregard, who represented the woman alongside attorney
Damisi Velasquez, the school district’s attorney also wanted the woman
to sign a confidentiality agreement that would have barred details of
the settlement from being released to the media. The woman’s attorneys
“I think they just wanted to sweep it under the rug,” Beauregard said.
The victim says:
The alleged victim was assigned to a sixth-grade computer class
taught by David Wysen, an educator for more than two decades, according
to her suit. He allegedly made comments about the sixth-grader’s body
and ogled her in class, subjecting her to teasing from classmates who
called her “the teacher’s crush,” according to court records.
She also accused Wysen of pinning her to a wall and pressing his body against hers, the records say.
She reported Wysen’s comments and touching in January 2005, telling
her school counselor and principal that she felt uncomfortable and
threatened by Wysen’s attention and his attempts to get her to meet with
him after school, according to the records.
A familiar name:
Her suit claimed the
principal, Marni Campbell, conducted a cursory investigation and failed
to remove the girl from Wysen’s class or take other corrective action.
According to the plaintiff’s deposition in the suit, Campbell
suggested the girl needed counseling and was making the complaints to
The judge's reaction:
In January, U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman denied a motion
for partial summary judgment filed by Buchanan, the attorney for Seattle
has presented evidence that Defendant had actual notice of sexual
harassment and assault, including physical touching, by a teacher, yet
took no real corrective action in attempt to address Plaintiff’s
complaints,” Pechman wrote in her order denying summary judgment.
“Whether Defendant had actual knowledge of the severity of the
harassment and assault now alleged and whether it responded with
deliberate indifference to Plaintiff’s complaints are questions for the
And that last statement is probably why the district settled.
This girl was what? 13 when this happened and no one in the district/school believed her. What could that have done to her self-esteem?
Apparently the experience gave her the courage to stand up for herself AND help others:
He said his client is now a professional basketball coach who works
with girls who are the same age she was when Wysen allegedly sexually
really struggled with this situation for a long time,” he said, adding
that all she really wanted was for the school district to be held
This did occur at least 10 years ago and we can only hope that the last Title IX incident that triggered an overhaul of district policy will mean something.