When a teacher molested four little girls in 2005, the Palm Beach County School District placed the blame squarely — on the third-graders themselves.
The children were “old enough to appreciate the consequences of their actions” when they did what their teacher told them to, the district said in court documents.
In response to a lawsuit from the girls’ families, the district said the children “conducted themselves in a careless and negligent manner” and administrators should not be held responsible.
Now, a dozen years after the incident, the district is poised to pay $3.6 million to settle the lawsuit.
The four girls are adults now, but they were third-graders in 2005 when they first accused their teacher, Blake Sinrod, of fondling them in the classroom at Coral Sunset Elementary, west of Boca Raton. Sinrod, who is now 46, pleaded guilty in May 2006 to child abuse charges involving two of the students.
The settlement, one of the school district’s largest, marks a reversal from the district’s claim earlier this year that it wasn’t liable for Sinrod’s actions.
Read the whole story at the SunSentinel.