Second Southfield student claims sexual harassment by teacher

- A family is suing Southfield schools accusing a teacher of sexually harassing a student - and they aren't the first to come forward.

Last April, FOX 2 reported on a sexual harassment allegation in a lawsuit accusing a teacher in Southfield Public Schools. The child claimed the teacher called her "princess baby," massaged her in class and caressed her ears and hair in a sexual manner. 

On Wednesday a second complaint from a different student was filed against the same teacher in the same school, Thompson International Academy.  

"We've found other women or girls - in this case sixth grade girls, who either witnessed the harassment of my first client or were harassed themselves," said attorney Scott Batey.

The new complaint says that the same teacher, Derrick Atlas, called himself her 'school dad' continued to rub and touch the 11-year-old's shoulders when possible.

"He would touch her hair, he would physically intimidate her, stand in the way when she was trying to pass by," Batey said. "Then he made the comment 'Just because I touch you doesn't mean I want you."

FOX 2: "What does that mean?"

"I don't know," Batey said.

Both minors have not been named in the complaint to protect their privacy - but the school district knows who they are.

"The principal failed the school district and the students of the school miserably." Batey said.

FOX 2 spoke to the attorney representing the Southfield Public Schools and the teacher. He said he has not received a copy of the second complaint and therefore, could not comment on it. 

He denied all of the sexual harassment allegations in the first complaint. 

FOX 2 may have played a role in the second lawsuit, Batey said.

"After Channel 2 reported on the first case, the next day the principal got on the intercom and called us fake news which intimidates the students from coming forward if anything happened to them."

FOX 2: "It didn't with this one."

"No it didn't," Batey said. "Do you think there are other students besides these two that the teacher sexually harassed?"

"I am not sure if there are other students," Batey said. "If there are, they have not come forward. But there have been a number of other students who did witness the harassment of these two girls."

No trial date has been set for either of these cases.
 

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