Dover, Del. (AP)- The family of a 15-year-old Wilmington boy who was raped by his Brandywine School District teacher filed a lawsuit against the school board on Wednesday.
Also named as defendants in the New Castle County Superior Court lawsuit are former Brandywine superintendent Bruce Harter and the victim's former teacher, Rachel L. Holt, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence.
The lawsuit claims that the school district failed to do a proper background check when hiring Holt, 36, who had been employed at four different schools in five years before being hired as a sixth-grade science teacher at Claymont Elementary School.
The lawsuit also alleges that school officials had received several reports about inappropriate conduct by Holt in the months preceding her arrest in April 2006. The alleged conduct included kissing students, sitting on their laps in the classroom, and dancing on classroom tables.
"The district recklessly ignored these reports of misbehavior and failed to warn parents or students of the dangers Holt posed, in disregard for the obvious risks of harm to any child who came into contact with her," said Thomas Neuberger, a lawyer representing the family of the victim, who was 13 at the time.
Ellen Marie Cooper, a staff attorney for Brandywine School District, said she had not seen the complaint and could not comment on it.
Last month, district officials settled a Chancery Court lawsuit filed by a former guidance counselor who claimed that she was fired after alerting the Claymont school principal to Holt's inappropriate conduct. District officials have refused to release the amount of the settlement with Mary Ann Giannotti, who claimed she was fired in retaliation for comments that raised the appearance of possible negligence by school and district officials in failing to protect students from Holt.
According to investigators, Holt had sex with the boy 28 times in one week, and on at least one occasion allowed the boy's 12-year-old friend to watch.
Authorities also said she gave the students alcohol. Authorities said the boy's father contacted them after becoming suspicious that his son was having an inappropriate relationship with his teacher, who had taken the boy out for dinner and allowed him to drive her vehicle.
Holt was charged with 28 counts of first-degree rape. She pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree rape and was sentenced in March 2007 to 10 years in prison.
Note from Gag:
This kinky cow regularly sat on the laps of 13 year old kids? Frankly, I'm surprised that none of the little brats, I mean poor, poor children, weren't physically injured in some way. And what's up with this school district, too? You'd think they'd have had to constantly replace the broken tables in her classroom.