Healdton school sued over behavior of assistant teacher
HEALDTON, Okla. (KTEN) — A civil rights lawsuit was recently filed against the Tri-County Interlocal Co-Op school in Healdton. It stems from a case in May 2022 when a teacher's assistant was found alone in a closet with a young girl.
"We just want to make sure it doesn't happen to anybody else," said Stephanie King, the victim's mother.
Healdton police were called to the school for children with special needs on May 4, 2022, after an employee found assistant teacher Logan Smith alone in a closet with a student who was 16 years old at the time.
"This is a civil rights lawsuit against the school because the school knew about him prior to this incident, and one of her classmates was a victim," said Attorney Tod Mercer. "The superintendent sort of dismissed those accounts and said there must have been some sort of misunderstanding."
According to the police report, Smith told officers that he and the girl were poking each other in the stomach and shoulder areas while in the closet with the door closed.
When police asked Smith if he received sexual gratification from the incident, Smith stated that he did, but said he did not touch the student in private areas of her body.
Smith told police he would've done more sexual actions with the girl if he had not been caught.
Criminal charges were filed in Carter County following this incident; however, the judge dismissed the case.
"It was very upsetting because pretty much they told us that it didn't go far enough," King explained. "So that is really upsetting just because it was caught and didn't go any further than it did that he can't be charged because it wasn't far enough."
The child was unable to testify in court as she is nonverbal and can pronounce very few words.
"These kids can't speak for themselves, and so someone has to watch out for them and speak for them," King said. "You hope they go to school and are protected, but that is not always the case."
KTEN contacted the Tri-County Interlocal Cooperative School for comment on the lawsuit but have not yet received a response.