Parents of at least one student who was sexually abused at a California children’s music and arts academy have filed a lawsuit alleging the school and its principal violated state laws by failing to prevent the abuse.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in San Bernardino County Superior Court, seeks to stop a class action by alleging the alleged victims were denied counseling, a safe space, and a safe haven to seek treatment.
The plaintiffs say their claims are protected by California law, which prohibits sexual abuse and discrimination against students.
In the lawsuit, which is not yet filed, the parents say the school failed to provide a safe and secure environment for students to seek help.
The plaintiffs, whose names were redacted by BuzzFeed News, say the alleged victim was sexually assaulted by a music academy principal and other school officials between August and December of last year.
The allegations were brought by the parents of a sixth-grade student who is alleged to have been sexually abused by the principal at the Orange Music Academy in Orange County.
The parents say that students were required to attend a two-week counseling program and were not allowed to go to a safe place for counseling, even though they were required by state law to attend such programs.
The parents of the student also allege that the school violated the state’s child sexual abuse reporting and notification law by failing even to inform parents of suspected child abuse.
California’s child abuse reporting law says students should be notified if they suspect abuse or neglect, or if they think someone in their household is abusing or neglecting a child.
The law also requires schools to provide counseling to students who report suspected abuse.
State lawmakers passed a bill in 2011 that requires schools and public agencies to report suspected child sexual assault, and requires the state to adopt rules to protect children who report such abuse.
California law also states that sexual abuse must be reported to law enforcement officials, not the media, and that the public has the right to know about it.
The state also requires the school district to adopt policies and procedures to address and protect children.
The Orange Music Association, which oversees the Orange County school system, has faced numerous complaints of sexual abuse by students, including a lawsuit filed by the Orange Police Department last year alleging the district was negligent in failing to investigate the allegations of abuse.
The lawsuit alleges that the Orange police investigated the allegations and that a school administrator retaliated against the students and made false statements to the police.
The district was not immediately available for comment.