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Lawsuit filed against Marion ISD, another teacher alleging child sexual abuse

File photo of Starry Elementary in Marion (CBS2/FOX28)

The Marion Independent School District and another teacher are being sued by parents, claiming their child was sexually abused by a classroom volunteer at Starry Elementary in 2015.

Court filings show the lawsuit was filed against the school district, and a kindergarten teacher, Sara Sievers in August 2016.

The Gazette reports that the plaintiffs allege that their 5-year-old was repeatedly molested in Sievers' classroom by a student-volunteer in August 2015. The lawsuit goes on to saw that the student-volunteer was allowed to volunteer in a neighboring classroom belonging to Diane Graham.

That volunteer was the now 16-year-old teen that was convicted of three counts of sexual abuse. Graham was found not guilty of failing to report abuse in her classroom earlier this month. CBS2/FOX28 has chosen not to name the student-volunteer.

Sievers testified in Graham's trial, saying something about the student-volunteer seemed wrong in her classroom, and asked school administrators to remove him from her classroom. He was removed five days later.

"It was the student sitting on his lap, the student being picked up on his hip and then the irresponsibility piece that was lacking during that short amount of time which led me to ask for him to be dismissed," said Sievers.

The lawsuit alleges that the school district never notified parents who had children in Sievers' class after learning of the abuse that happened in Graham's classroom. It goes on to say the 5-year-old suffers from emotional distress as a result of the sexual abuse.

Marion ISD paid three families $1.8 million in settlement money as a result of lawsuits filed against the school for abuse that happened in Graham's classroom. A fourth settlement has been agreed to, but details have not been disclosed.

CBS2/FOX28 reached out to the Marion ISD for comment on the latest lawsuit, but has not received a response as the school district's offices are closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


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