The parents of one West Virginian 13 year old girl are suing Mount Hope Middle School and its joint school principals at the time, Mike and Leah Hutchins pursuant to their daughter being allegedly packed raped by a group of athletes after she was forced to wait outside school grounds for a ride home. Her parents are holding the school responsible because in their estimation had strict school rules not kept her back she would have been able to make the last school bus home.
The school (no longer in operation) for the part has argued that although its rules forced the girl to stay behind (she was asked as a member of the cheerlead squad to collect uniforms),it can not be held liable for the criminal actions of students of the school, who perpetrated their crime outside of school hours.
Having called her friends parents to come and collect her as school buses were no longer running the 13 year old set about to wait for her ride at the school gymnasium which by now was closed shut. With no other option it is said that the young girl then chose to wait outside.
It was there the girl was happened upon by boys from the athletics team who then forced the girl to accompany them to a nearby room to engage in unwanted sex acts. It should also be noted that the police have it on file that the young girl at present only identified by her initials has given conflicting information about being vaginally violated. At one point recanting that she had been indeed vaginally violated. Also of contention is the allegation that the student was dragged to the room (video cameras show her walking with the boys) and the lack of DNA evidence linking the boys to the teens purported violation.
At the heart of the matter the parents are claiming had it not been for the negligent supervision (even after school hours) their daughter would never have been subjected to such a traumatic experience. On one level one can presuppose that if the school mandates that a student stay behind to reckon with duties it ought to afford her some provision for safety and a way to get home. Yet at the same token, can the school really be held captive to the actions of a group of boys, said to be as old as 16 and 17? What if a school teacher had been in the vicinity or within earshot whilst she was being violated would that still enable her parents to sue for the actions of the boys despite the perceived or actual negligence of a school attendant thwarting predatory behavior. Either way it’s a morally tenuous case and it’s going to be interesting to see what the courts decide.