6th grader says Southfield teacher sexually harassed her
(WJBK) - A Southfield sixth-grader claims her teacher sexually harassed her.
Now her family is suing him and the school district.
"We are done with Southfield they let our kids down," said the child's father. "They didn't protect them."
The man says a sixth-grade teacher at Southfield's Thompson International Academy sexually harassed his 11-year-old daughter. And when she found the courage to come forward, he retaliated against the child.
"It made my blood boil," her father said.
According to the complaint, the inappropriate behavior began in October of last year. The child claims the teacher called her "princess baby," and massaged her in class and caressed her ears and hair in a sexual manner.
One day she decided to tell her social studies teacher.
"That's uncalled for but even worse than that, is the school's response," said attorney Scott Batey. "My client had the courage and was brave enough to go to her teacher and say my other teacher is touching me, can you help me. And instead of grabbing her hand and her walking her down to the office and talking to her with the principal and helping her, she blew her off."
One week later the 11-year-old went to her mom and dad. It took a couple weeks, but finally the parents were able to get a meeting with the principal and teacher. The teacher claimed it was a big misunderstanding.
"He said nothing happened, that he touches all of his students like that," said her father.
The child decided to give her teacher one more chance, but when she returned to class - she claims the teacher shamed her in front of the students. He allegedly called her out for what happened and moved her seat to the other side of the room.
Her dad claims the district didn't take the child seriously until they filed a complaint with Southfield police.
"The district has failed this family over and over again," Batey said. "They transferred them out, the children have been to multiple schools, multiple teachers, and left all their friends behind. While that teacher stayed at that school and taught."
That's why Batey says they are suing the Southfield school district and the sixth-grade teacher.
All of the kids have since been transferred to other schools in the district - but the parents say the damage has already been done.
"We felt like they were calling her a liar," said the girl's father. "Secondly, my daughter is going to counseling now, because she thought it was all her fault. She feels that if she didn't tell, she would still be with her friends. She thinks the teacher hates her."
In a response, the district said: "Southfield Public Schools thoroughly investigates and addresses all allegations of inappropriate behavior. Currently the employee in question is on administrative leave. The district does not comment on matters under investigation."