The following comes from a December 2 LA Times article by Alene Tchekmedyian:
A father has filed a lawsuit against a Catholic grade school in Glendale, claiming his teenage daughter was wrongfully expelled following false rumors of sexual misconduct.
Roberto Pangilinan claims that his daughter, who had attended Holy Family Grade School for nine years, was expelled during her last semester of eighth grade after she reported being bullied by her peers, according to the complaint filed last week in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
The lawsuit was filed against the school and its administrators, including Principal Fidela Suelto, Rev. James Bevacqua and Vice Principal Katharine Huntley, along with eighth-grade teacher Ashley Walden and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
On February 13, the teenager told Walden that her peers were spreading false rumors that she was having sex, and begged the teacher to make them stop, according to the lawsuit.
That week, the suit claims, the principal requested that certain unnamed students provide written statements about the rumor or they would not be allowed to participate in a class trip to Disneyland.
The suit alleges that Suelto refused to show the then-13-year-old girl’s father the statements, but told him that four weeks earlier, she learned that two boys had seen his daughter in the boys bathroom, partially undressed, with her boyfriend.
On February 17, hours after a meeting with the teenager and her parents during which the girl denied sexual misconduct, Suelto informed the girl’s father via email that his daughter had been expelled and would be escorted off campus immediately, the suit says.
The suit seeks more than $500,000 in damages.