A Pennsylvania high school has come under fire for its handling of false sexual assault allegations brought against a male student by five “mean girls” — who are accused of targeting the teen because they “just don’t like him.”
School officials were forced to put out a statement on Monday defending their actions after local reports revealed that nothing was ever done to punish the female classmates.
“The number-one priority of the Seneca Valley School District is the safety and well-being of our students, staff, parents and volunteers who enter our buildings,” the statement said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
“We have policies and procedures in place to protect individuals, and we communicate to all employees on these policies and work hard every day to provide a safe and caring learning environment for all.”
Social media users had been calling on the Seneca Valley School District to apologize for its handling of the situation, but they reportedly refused.
“Reading this story makes me sick to my stomach,” tweeted the Seneca Valley “Student Section.”
“Those girls should face major consequences for this,” added Maddie Rush, a Seneca Valley alum. “Lying about sexual assault is not a joke.”
The boy’s parents, Michael J. and Alecia Flood, filed a lawsuit last week against the district, Seneca Valley High School and the parents of the girls involved.
“We feel strongly the lawsuit being filed against the Seneca Valley School District is without merit,” said district officials. “We have followed all applicable laws, and we will vigorously defend ourselves throughout the process.”
In their suit, the boy’s parents claim his life was ruined as a result of the false sex assault allegations, which were made against him in July 2017 and March 2018 by two different girls — and then falsely corroborated by three others.
“[The teen] was forced to endure multiple court appearances, detention in a juvenile facility, detention at home, the loss of his liberty, and other damages until several of the girls reluctantly admitted that their accusations were false,” the suit says, identifying the boy as “T.F.”
His family’s lawyer, Craig Fishman, told the Tribune-Review that he also suffered from severe bullying and “gender bias.”
“(T.F.) was basically being tortured in school by the other students and investigators, but the administration was only focused on protecting the girls who were lying,” Fishman said. “Once the allegations were proven false, they really didn’t care one bit about T.F. and there has been absolutely no repercussions against the girls.”
According to PennLive, one of the female accusers told school officials in a 2017 interview that she and the other “mean girls” made up the allegations because they “just don’t like him.”
“I just don’t like to hear him talk,” she reportedly disclosed. “I don’t like to look at him.”
In October 2017, the same girl told her classmates “that she would do anything to get T.F. expelled” and admitted that she “accused T.F. of sexual assault,” according to the suit.
The Floods are reportedly seeking unspecified civil damages, and are now homeschooling their boy to avoid further abuse.
“A disgrace that one of the nicest kids, and sincere families in Seneca has to deal with this,” tweeted former Seneca Valley student Ryan Senka. “Actions like this damage true victims of sexual assault claims, and will make a district attorney double think before bringing charges against a true abuser.”