Student Who Fathered Baby With High School Teacher Sues District, Says Officials 'Turned A Blind Eye'
A student who fathered a baby with his convicted former high school teacher has sued her and the school district with a civil complaint.The complaint was filed on Tuesday against 29-year-old Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst and the Redlands Unified School District, according to Redlands Daily Facts. It alleges that the school's employees "turned a blind eye" to the relationship between the student (who was 16 at the time and is now 18) and his Citrus High School AP English teacher that lasted a year.
"School staff knew Whitehurst was in a sexual relationship with the boy and they had a duty to help to protect kids," the victim's attorney Vince Finaldi told the L.A. Times.
The suit claims that school officials knew about prior problems with Whitehurst. In addition, the complaint names fellow teacher Sarah Seevers who allegedly knew about the relationship and kept it a secret instead of notifying authorities.
Whitehurst gave birth to their baby girl in June 2013, according to CBS Los Angeles. She was arrested last July and charged with 41 felony counts. She took a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual intercourse and oral copulation with three male students under the age of 18 while she was teaching at the school. Although the teacher was sentenced to a year in prison, she only served six months and was released on Jan. 5, reported the Times and CBS Los Angeles. She is on probation for the next five years, is listed as a sex offender and sees a counselor.
The student told authorities that Whitehurst had started driving him home and then having sexual intercourse with him at her apartment, on campus, and in her car. She also asserted she wasn't able to get pregnant and gave him alcohol.
The student said in court, "physically, I feel sick to my stomach thinking about the manipulation I was subjected to," according to the Times.
The 18-year-old is now a college student and shares custody of his daughter with Whitehurst. His lawyers say he suffers psychological and emotional problems, as well as financial loss after the year-long abuse.