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Family files petition to sue Union Public Schools, claims child inapproriately touched at school

Posted at 8:19 PM, Aug 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-19 23:28:46-04

A family is suing Union Public Schools after they claim their child was touched inappropriately at school by another student.

With the new school year, sometimes a flood of emotions can overcome parents.

"[With] maybe a new school, or a new program or new teacher, I think there's anxiety any time that happens," Steven Terrill, the family's attorney said.

But for one Tulsa County family, this anxiety grew into fear.

"They were concerned, physicians were involved, faculty were involved," Terrill said.

Nearly two years ago, during the 2014-2015 school year, a mother was bathing her son, who was in pre-k, after a day at Andersen Elementary School.

According to court documents, she immediately realized something was wrong.

"The mom found out by being able to observe certain areas on the minor’s body, that were eventually found to be infected with ringworm," Terrill said.

The petition alleges the little boy told his mom a girl in has class touched his privates "a lot.”

DHS was notified immediately, but court documents say DHS said the school would need to investigate.

"My understanding is that the teacher's assistant understood the ongoing abuse was continuing, told that to the teacher and told the teacher also the parents need to be notified," Terrill said.

The petition to sue states the school didn't do enough to stop the repeated incidents.

According to the child's attorneys, the situation at Andersen Elementary became so bad the parents pulled their child out of the school and began homeschooling him.

"To me, the danger is paramount when we are talking about a minor child," Terrill said.

Experts said cases like these serve as a reminder for parents to teach your children to speak out when they feel something is wrong at school.

"If anybody is to touch you, or talk about your private body parts, who can that child then go and tell?" Christine March, director of child abuse and trauma services, said. "So go ahead and have that conversation about talking to mommy or daddy."

Marsh said young children don't know better, and in certain cases, this behavior is normal.

She adds if it does happen, make sure your child knows it's OK to tell someone

"They don't necessarily have to make it feel like it was something about them to cause that to happen, it’s the other person that had that behavior," Marsh said.

2 Works for You reached out to administrators at Union Public Schools, however, they had no comment on the lawsuit.

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