The South San Francisco Unified School District is being sued over sexual abuse allegedly committed by a middle school teacher.
A parent filed the lawsuit claiming their 14-year-old child was molested by Westborough Middle School teacher Joseph Toy and the school failed to report the accusations of inappropriate behavior.
Toy was arrested in May and is facing 56 criminal counts stemming from alleged abuse of a number of students.
According to the lawsuit, teachers had notified administrators about Mr. Toy’s behavior but it went unreported for years, even allowing him to chaperone trips to Disneyland.
“A teacher had been noticing that he was abnormally close to students and had reported that and the principal’s response was ‘keep an eye on him,'” Lauren Cerri, the victim’s attorney, said.
39-year-old Toy is accused of inappropriately touching at least four boys and his bail is set at $6.1 million.
“The warning signs for this guy were classic. Getting kids alone, favoritism, gift giving, text messages, communicating outside the school, putting his arm around them,” Cerri said.
This new lawsuit filed against the school district claims middle school officials failed to report Mr. Toy’s behavior.
This suit claims Toy would put the 14-year-old victim “on his lap, kiss his head, and place his hand under his shirt where he rubbed and patted his stomach area.”
The lawsuit claims that a parent previously caught Toy being inappropriate with a student and took a picture of the teacher with his arms around a student.
The photo was turned over to administrators where it was not reported, but instead, shredded and thrown away.
“School districts sometimes put their own image over the protection of students and keeping the kids safe from sex abuse and it needs to stop,” Cerri said.
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