MONROE, La. (KNOE) – Public outrage continues over allegations made in a controversial lawsuit against Cedar Creek School in Lincoln Parish. Several people gathered in the third judicial district courthouse on September 21, 2021 to support a former student who alleges the lawsuit was a victim of sexual violence and bullying by eight classmates.
The Justice For Paul rally on Tuesday was preceded by the publication of a 20-page lawsuit filed on behalf of the teenager’s family. The lawsuit alleges that a student with the pseudonym “Paul” was the victim of ongoing abuse that occurred in 2020-2021. The allegations involve sexual accumulation, which the school adamantly denied online.
Rally organizers told KNOE they didn’t know anyone personally. However, they said the details alleged in the lawsuit made it difficult for them to stand by and do nothing.
“I read this through and took a few short breaks to collect myself because it was traumatizing what this kid went through,” said Megan Coleman, one of the organizers of the event. “Nobody should have to go through this. It makes you think about the things that happened to you when you were a survivor. I just want this child and every other child to know that we are hearing and supporting them. “
“It’s hard for someone to express themselves anyway,” said organizer Courtney Brown. “It’s especially harder when you’re a man and you’re talking about it. And then turn around and call him a liar. That is not true. We just want him and everyone else to know that he was heard. “
A copy of the lawsuit began circulating on the Internet a few days ago. A central allegation in the lawsuit is that a group of college students forced an Eiffel Tower statue into the teenager’s rectum on multiple occasions. This is said to have happened in front of classmates while the teacher was not in class. The lawsuit states that other items were used on other occasions, including a water bottle and a broomstick. It is said that the teenager was penetrated “more than twenty-five times.”
In a response posted online, Cedar Creek admitted the bullying but denied the sexual battery claim and questioned the veracity of other allegations in the lawsuit. The school claims the story told in the lawsuit has changed from a previous complaint. They also say that another central claim of the lawsuit, a scheduled day of harassment known as “Hell Day” was planned in part by the student who is believed to be the victim. The school said other students should have their own “Hell Day” to “replicate in any way the training Navy Seals go through.”
The school said a retired Ruston police officer was investigating the matter and five students were expelled for the bullying. They also asked the family’s lawyer to provide evidence of the sexual abuse.
The lawsuit seeks general damages “in an amount that is reasonable in the premises against the defendant”. It also calls on a jury to award exemplary and punitive damages based on the sexual nature of the allegations.
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