A Victorville Jury, yesterday, awarded $241,000 damages for a First Grader who was molested by other children in the Victor Valley School District at Del Rey Elementary School in 2005. The Plaintiff alleged that the school district failed to protect him and was negligent in responding to the escalating pattern of bullying he had been subjected to. Attorneys for the victim questioned whether the District spent more upon its defense for over five years, than it will ultimately pay in damages. “How can they do that?” asked attorney Marc Grossman, “when they’re laying off teachers and complaining about limited budgets” He proceeded “it seems like they wasted hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars accusing the victim instead of simply taking accountability for their actions. Trial attorney for the plaintiff, Brian Hannemann noted that “the school district actually asked the jury to find the 6 year old victim negligent for entering the older children’s restroom.”
Calling further into question the school district’s decision to spend so many years and so much money denying accountability is that Del Rey Elementary School teacher Rogelio Cardenas plead no contest in 2007 to the continuous sexual abuse of a child. This prompted 45 different complaints from Del Rey parents about the safety problems with Del Rey Elementary school. The school district has recently settled a string of lawsuits brought by some of the victims of Cardenas in connection with lawsuits alleging neglect by the Del Rey principal and administration. Grossman, who also represented several of those victims, noted that in those matters as well, the district spent excessive amounts of money denying any responsibility before finally making an offer to settle with the molestation victims right before trial.