Student at Belleville East alternative school claims assault in classroom

By The Madison County Record | May 5, 2014


An unsupervised school environment led to students stripping a girl of her pants in a classroom, according to a recently filed lawsuit.

A minor child identified only as Jane Doe filed a lawsuit April 25 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Belleville East Township High School District 201 and Robert Dahm.

In her complaint, the 15-year-old Jane Doe alleges she and another student were studying unsupervised in an "Alternative Day School Program" classroom Oct. 30, 2013, when four students entered the room, closed and locked the door and shut the lights off. The four students then attacked Doe and removed her pants, according to the complaint. The other student who was studying with Doe chased off the attackers and reported the incident to the school Principal Robert Dahm, the suit states.

Following the incident, Dahm failed to contact Doe’s mother, the suit claims. Instead, he sought a written account from the parties involved in the incident, the complaint says. One of the attackers was charged with sexual assault by the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office and was suspended for 10 days, Doe claims. The other three students received no disciplinary action, according to the complaint.

Since the incident, Doe claims she has suffered emotional pain and suffering, humiliation and fears returning to school.

At the time, Doe was attending the alternative high school, which provided schooling for at-risk children. She says the incident was allowed to occur because the building was understaffed “to a critical and unsafe level.”

Doe is seeking unspecified compensatory, exemplary and punitive damages, plus costs and other relief the court deems just. She is being represented by Jarrod P. Beasley of The Kuehn Law Firm in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-306.

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