Seattle School District Faces $29 Million In Sex Abuse Liability
According to a letter KUOW has obtained from Seattle Public Schools to the Washington State Auditor’s Office, the district faces $29 million in claims and settlement demands from current or former students who say they were sexually abused by a teacher or fellow student.
The largest claim stems from the case of former B.F. Day Elementary School gym teacher Phil F. McGee, now deceased, who was convicted in 2008 of molesting four students between 2002 and 2006.
The district letter says that five of McGee’s former students now charge that Seattle Public Schools “knew [McGee] was acting inappropriately and that the district failed to properly supervise him.”
The complainants each reportedly seek $5 million for a total of $25 million.
The other case involves a developmentally disabled student who was sexually abused by a fellow student at Roosevelt High School. The abuser was convicted in 2010.
According to the district, the victim claims school officials knew the other student was a registered sex offender and didn’t do enough to protect the victim. She seeks $4 million in damages.
A spokeswoman for Seattle Schools said the district doesn’t comment on pending claims, but said its general counsel is reviewing the cases.
The spokeswoman said the district has reported the potential liability to its self-insurance pool for Washington school districts, which covers settlements and judgments beyond $1 million.