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Boy Awarded $6.9 Million in Molestation Case but It's Not Enough

by Julie Ryan Evans on December 19, 2012 at 10:43 PM

school busIn October 2008, a nightmare began for a 10-year-old boy. His fifth grade teacher, Forrest Stobbe, befriended him and his family, wormed his way into their trust, and all the while was molesting him in the classroom and outside of it. Now five years and a lawsuit later, a jury has ruled that the school district must pay the boy $6.9 million

It's a huge sum, and according to the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest every awarded in a molestation case. Plaintiffs said the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) should have done more to protect the boy. They claimed that though he had a clean criminal record, there were "abundant warning signs" and complaints from other students about inappropriate behavior by the teacher prior to this boy's molestation. Things like him having private lunches in his classroom with students, which was against school policy, and a girl who reported him acting and touching her inappropriately.

In the boy's case Stobbe reportedly bought him gifts and season passes to amusement parks to which he took him himself. His parents (who you also to question about their responsibility) thought he was such a great guy they even considered asking him to be the boy's godfather.  Throughout it all, he was abusing the boy.

It's beyond sick, and I can't imagine the issues with trust, and the nightmares and flashbacks this boy will have for life. There's no sum that can touch that. 

Sure the money awarded can pay for therapy and definitely gives some small sense of at least some justice being served, but the bigger benefit of it is not for this boy, but for all of the other boys and girls out there who are potential victims. This ruling sends out a huge message to schools everywhere that they need to be more aware, that they are responsible for our children's safety when we place them in their care. Yes, the teacher is the true criminal here, but it doesn't mean no else is guilty. Hopefully another strong signal will be sent in the upcoming trial of  Mark Berndt, who also committed unthinkable acts against children at Miramonte Elementary School in the same school district.

Do you think schools should be responsible when/if teachers molest students?


Image via torbakhopper/Flickr

 

Filed Under: child abuse, crime

Comments

11
  • Venae
    --

    Venae

    December 19, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Teachers have to pass background checks and he must have been clean in order to get the job.  Even w/o the rumors of inappropriateness at school, why the hell are you letting your child go off on trips w/a man?  That's how pedophiles get their kids - they groom them - even right in front of their idiot parents.

    And I'm just gonna throw it out there - because people have done it before - did these parents intentionally let their child be molested in hopes of a giant payday - a la Michael Jackson?

     


  • PRIMA487
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    PRIMA487

    December 19, 2012 at 11:38 PM
    What needs to be done;at least here with lausd is make it easier to fire teachers instead of paying them six figures to go away. All superintendents talk about how the district is broke but they are paying off child molesters instead of firing them because its too hard to do it. Make it easier, other, employers don't seem to have problems getting rid of their crappy workers but someone who feeds kids his semen gets six figures. Stop paying and maybe the kids can have a full 9 or 10 months of school.

  • cmjaz
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    cmjaz

    December 19, 2012 at 11:43 PM
    Agreed prima
  • pupuk...
    --

    pupukeawahine

    December 20, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Lawsuits work.  School districts can't afford the payouts to victims, so will be more vigilant.  Unfortunately,  money speaks, and that is apparently what it will take to get school administrations to pay attention to what teachers are doing.  These creepy teachers are one of the reasons I home schooled during grade school.


  • Jeann...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Jeannie Wright

    December 21, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    How did this go on for this long without the boy telling his parents? Wouldn't you think the boy wouldn't want to spend time with the teacher and be afraid instead of going off with him? I hope in the future, with counseling this boy can get past this. People like this teacher make me sick. As a parent it's upsetting to know i cant keep them safe even at school any more.

     


  • eetfbf
    --

    eetfbf

    December 21, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    frustratedYes I do.We send our children to school and think they are safe. Well as we can tell by what has just happen at that school with them getting killed and raped I don't want my Grand babies going to school I rather they be taught at home.


  • Misty...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Misty Sanders Lee Black

    December 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM
    Get rid of Tenure!!! Its the only way to make teachers accountable for their actions and gets rid of crappy teachers. Being able to fire at will instead of sending horrible teachers to somebody else is what will keep good teachers that way and bad ones from holding jobs that they don't deserve. As far as the crime this jackwagon committed, he should serve a prison term and the school should get fined and have to provide therapy, not reward the idiot parents that allowed this to happen in the first place. Who sends their kid off with a teacher, alone, in this day and age?!?!?!? Seriously, don't these parents watch the news, read a paper or have the internet?
  • Jackie
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Jackie

    December 24, 2012 at 11:42 AM
    I think its the parents fault for not teaching that kid to tell them wats going, on n for them not see signs of something weird come on!! How can u be ok with someone taking ur kids places all the time!
  • Tammy...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Tammy Cullison Marshall

    December 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    NO AMOUNT OF MONEY will ever make the poor little child in this story whole again no matter how much counseling he gets. Makes me so angry and sad at the same time how our school systems are going down the drain between child molesters and school shootings that the one sacred place a child should feel safe is school and that we as parents cannot even reassure them of that anymore. I miss back when . . .


  • anima...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    animaltalker

    December 24, 2012 at 1:58 PM
    molesting a child is something they will never forget I am 52 and remember every bit of it. Hate it. But never let it interfere with raising my children as everyone told me an abused child will abuse theirs not me I broke that and raised my kids letting them know right from wrong. But in my heart it will always hurt.
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