A disturbing lawsuit alleges that school officials told a sixth-grade boy to "turn the other cheek" after being sexually assaulted by classmates.
A Tennessee mother and her son are suing Brentwood Academy, a private Christian school, for allegedly failing to protect the child from repeated sexual assault and harassment at the hands of his classmates.
According to the lawsuit, the boy was raped on five separate occasions. When he went to school officials, the student and his mother say they dismissed his claims. The headmaster allegedly told him to to "turn the other cheek" and that "everything in God's kingdom happens for a reason."
When the boy's mother learned of the alleged assaults, she sought the help of a private counselor at the Christian counseling center Daystar Counseling. According to the lawsuit, the counselor told her that "this is not how Christian institutions handle these things."
In response, the counseling center has released a statement claiming the comments attributed to the counselor in question are not true.
"Disturbing allegations about Daystar in the lawsuit, which were highlighted in the media, are not factual. Certain statements attributed to a former employee of Daystar are simply not true," the statement reads. "Based on our policy of not discussing details of lawsuits and our obligation to maintain the privacy of former and current clients, we will not elaborate on additional details."
According to the lawsuit, the boy's pediatrician contacted the Department of Children Services and she eventually met with school officials. The mother says that when she met with Brentwood's headmaster he told her that the accusations were merely incidents of "boys being boys" and he couldn't "investigate each of those and run a school."
A statement released by Brentwood says a number of the allegations in the lawsuit are "not factual, will be disputed, and our defense will be vigorous."
The boy's mother has sued Brentwood for $30 million. Brentwood's police assistant chief told The Tennessean that there is an ongoing open investigation into the rape allegations.