Sumner-Bonney Lake School District Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit…

Published: June 9th, 2023

By: Andy Goldwasser

Sumner-Bonney Lake School District Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit for Nearly $8M

The Sumner-Bonney Lake School District outside of Tacoma, Washington, has reached a $7.6 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by the family of a developmentally disabled girl who alleged she was sexually assaulted by a classmate due to the school’s failure to protect her. Video evidence presented during the case showed the classmate holding open the door to a boys’ bathroom, where the assault took place. The lawsuit claimed that despite prior concerns about the girl’s safety, the school lacked the resources to provide adequate supervision. The settlement comes amid additional allegations of sexual abuse involving a former basketball coach at Sumner High School. The district acknowledged the settlement, emphasizing student safety as a top priority. The victim’s attorney accused school officials of disregarding policies meant to prevent sexual misconduct, while records revealed that many disciplinary actions against students were reduced to short-term suspensions instead of more severe penalties. The lawsuit settlement funds will contribute to the victim’s ongoing recovery, including therapy.

Patrick Malone, The Seattle Times 6/7/2023