Lawsuit Says Special Needs Student Raped in NYC-area Classroom

A 15 year old special education student was gang-raped in class while a lesson was going on, according to allegations by her mother. The girl attended the Martin De Porres Academy in Elmont, New York, a community on Long Island, and the incident supposedly occurred mere feet from the desk of her teachers.

In a lawsuit filed last week, the mother alleges that the girl was forced to perform oral sex on two fellow students for ten minutes in science class, while another repeatedly hit her over the head when she was trying to escape. The mother further claims that the commotion failed to attract the attention of the teacher even when one of the students started dancing on the girl’s desk.

K.J., who has an IQ of less than 60, was sent to De Porres by the city and was the only girl in her class of 13 boys.

Her alleged attackers all lived at Casa De La Salle — a residence for juvenile delinquents — and had known “violent propensities,” the suit alleges.

K.J. told a school social worker about the assault the next day — but did nothing, the lawsuit said.

Attempts by the mother to get the girl transferred out of the school went nowhere, so K.J. continued to attend the school and became a victim of bullying. In an attempt to address the mother’s concerns, the school administrators put the girl in a room with one of the students who sexually harassed her and told them to work it out between themselves. The “discussion” produced nothing but another injury to the girl who got a gash over her eye when the boy attacked her.

“It’s mind-boggling how this could happen,” said Bryer.

Martin De Porres executive director Ed Dana said the school conducted an internal investigation as soon as it heard of the abuse and fired a teacher as a result. “We want the community to know that we hold our teachers to a high standard. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of the children in our care,” Dana said in a statement.

However, the girl’s mother disputes Dana’s assertion that the school did all it could. Instead, she claims that school officials dragged their feet in response to her complaints, either ignoring them entirely or taking pro forma measures that didn’t lead to any improvement.

Although Nassau County authorities investigated the incident, no charges were filed against the three boys.

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