Louisiana School for Deaf Reopens; Officials say safety has improved after student allegedly molested.

Press, The Associated. "Louisiana School for Deaf Reopens; Officials say safety has improved after student allegedly molested. " Education Week.  28.12 (Nov 12, 2008): 4. Academic OneFile. Gale. Michigan State University Libraries. 21 Apr. 2009 

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The mother of a former Louisiana School for the Deaf student is suing the state and the school, claiming that two male students repeatedly molested her daughter.

The mother contends the state, through its department of education, and the school had a duty to protect her daughter from "harmful events" and were negligent in failing to do so. In the lawsuit, filed last month, the mother maintains that her daughter has suffered "serious and disabling injuries" from molestations during the 2007-08 school year.

State schools Superintendent Paul G. Pastorek closed the Baton Rouge school Oct. 7 after the latest in a string of sexual incidents. It reopened Nov. 5.

"I believe we have done as much as we can in this short time frame, and that the measures we have put in place raise the safety level of the school to that of an ordinary school campus, therefore allowing us to reopen LSD," Mr. Pastorek said in a statement. "We will continue to implement improvements in the area of safety and the overall educational program at LSD."

Mr. Pastorek said that the mother told the school of the alleged abuse, and that the girl's accusations were known to state education officials when the school was closed.

"She felt like the school did not respond to it," Mr. Pastorek said last week.

It was the latest accusation of abuse at the school. It was closed after a 16-year-old male student was accused of assaulting a preteen girl on a school bus. The boy's chaperone was later fired because she had failed to supervise the boy, who is mentally impaired and had a history of bad behavior.

Five people were arrested between last November and April on sex charges involving students at the school. Three are current or former teachers. A former teacher pleaded guilty in September to contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. He admitted exchanging sexually explicit e-mails and photographs with the same student.

Mr. Pastorek said he did not know whether the girl whose mother sued ever alerted the school.

"We have not been able to corroborate the story," he said. "In other words, I can't say whether it happened or didn't happen."

Gale Document Number:A189654117