Former James Clemens student sues over alleged sexual harassment

Published: Nov. 20, 2019 at 5:08 PM CST
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MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - A former James Clemens High School student is suing Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker and Philip Perkins, a basketball coach and teacher at James Clemens.

The Federal lawsuit, filed by a Madison city minor identified only as Jane Doe, alleges sexual harassment from coach Philip Perkins.

According to the lawsuit, Jane Doe was a 14-year-old freshman at James Clemens when she met Perkins, who coached junior varsity basketball and taught history.

Source: James Clemens High School website
Source: James Clemens High School website(James Clemens)

The lawsuit says that Perkins singled out Jane Doe for harassment from nearly the moment they met. It alleges inappropriate touching and comments from Perkins.

In one instance described in the lawsuit, Perkins allegedly asked Jane Doe to follow him into a locker room to discuss basketball plays. The lawsuit says she when she refused he stormed off.

The lawsuit also alleges that Perkins would intentionally touch Jane Doe’s breasts during practice, and touched her buttocks in separate instances.

In another instance described in the lawsuit, Perkins called Jane Doe into a hallway after a game to discuss why she wanted to quit the basketball team. The lawsuit says Perkins told Doe he was “harder” on her than other players because he saw her as a “friend.” The lawsuit also says Doe fled this interaction in tears, and that as she turned to run away Perkins grabbed her buttocks.

According to the suit, Doe had to transfer schools, and became depressed and suicidal. The lawsuit says she was admitted to a hospital where she revealed the sexual harassment allegations to a counselor.

The lawsuit also alleges that Parker and other Madison city school leaders were made aware of the allegations and failed to act.

The lawsuit says that because of school transfer complications and eligibility restrictions Jane Doe is unlikely to play High School Basketball ever again and will likely miss the chance to play college basketball.

The lawsuit requests financial damages for emotional and physical harm. It also requests that the defendants actions be declared illegal under Alabama State Law.

“Superintendent Parker and an employee of Madison City Schools have been served with a lawsuit brought by the parents of an anonymous student who has petitioned the Court not to have their identity disclosed.

This matter was fully investigated in 2018 by Madison Police Department after a complaint was brought to them by the family.

Madison City Schools also investigated the matter after learning of the complaint made to the Madison Police Department.

Madison City Schools’ investigation included meetings with the family and interviews with students and faculty.

The allegations of assault or other misconduct made at that time were not corroborated by either the Madison Police Department or the Madison City Schools’ investigation.

Parker denies the allegations of the complaint and it will be vigorously defended.”

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