Orestimba student claims staff harassment

NEWMAN -- A 16-year-old girl at Orestimba High School is alleging that a male school staff member sexually harassed her on campus, according to a claim filed against the school district by an attorney representing the student.

The Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District board rejected the claim at its Monday night meeting. The staff member accused of harassment is not a teacher and is still employed by the district.

Superintendent Richard Fauss said "there is absolutely no foundation to the claim."

The claim seeks more than $25,000 in damages. A claim typically is the first step in a process that culminates in lawsuits against public agencies. The student's attorney could not be reached for comment.

It alleges that the staff member sexually harassed the student starting in June. The harassment included "unwelcome leering, sexual flirtations and propositions, unwelcome sexual remarks," along with sexually graphic comments and jokes.

According to the claim, the student was assured by school administrators that the man would be disciplined and she would not see him again. However, it contends that he was "in sight of and in physical proximity" to her in August, October and November on the school grounds.

Fauss said the district took appropriate disciplinary action against the staff member. He has no contact with students, Fauss said.

The student suffered physical and emotional injury as a result of the staff member and the school district's actions, the claim says.

Bee staff writer Christina Salerno can be reached at csalerno@modbee.com or 238-4574.