Federal Way High School and one of its former basketball coaches recently agreed to settle a lawsuit involving a former student for $ 425,000.
A US $ 425,000 settlement was recently reached between a former Federal Way High School student and Jerome Collins, a former basketball coach, and the school. The lawsuit itself was filed on allegations that the school and Collins "covered up a sex scandal to save the school's chance of a state basketball championship in 2016". A former student, Tally Thomas, then filed a tort of $ 3.5 million against the school district.
Basketball graphic; Image courtesy of OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay, www.pixabay.com
What made the suit? According to the tort filed by Thomas, "Former FWHS basketball player Jalen McDaniels videotaped her against her will and without her knowledge, for oral sex with an unnamed Federal Way High School basketball player, and the tape was viewed by several other students." The allegation also argued that "chief basketball coach Jerome Collins was aware of this incident, viewed the video in question and did not report the situation to the authorities."
The incident happened two years ago. After learning of the allegations, the district put the trainer on administrative leave and initiated a third party investigation. During the investigation, the district found that "Collins violated the reasonable expectation of a professional educator by failing to investigate the facts presented to him about alleged student misconduct in 2016." As a result of the findings, Collins became "his coaching ability deprived … and removed from his teaching position at Federal Way High School ". He has since accepted a position at Brigadoon Elementary School as a PE teacher.
As part of the settlement, Thomas and Collins agreed to drop the claims, "and the settlement is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing by Collins or the district." In addition, Thomas will receive $ 425,000. Commenting on the deal reached, Kassie Swenson, director of communications and strategy at FWPS, said the funds for the deal would not come from the "general district education budget." Instead, she added:
"As in all school districts, there is insurance to cover the process and handling costs. All billing amounts are determined through confidential, independent mediation with the involvement of the insurance company and legal representatives."
It is important to note that despite the dismissal of the case, the settlement was agreed because "Thomas's post-school recording was in a private apartment outside of the county property and had no connection with the county". "At least two meetings between Collins, Thomas, their parents, McDaniels, the other sports suspect, and the boys' parents were held on or about Friday, February 12, 2016 and Sunday at Federal Way High School." February 14, 2016 ”, according to court documents.
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