Family files lawsuit against Pineview Christian Academy, administrator for negligence

WAFF 48's D'Quan Lee reporting
Published: Jun. 30, 2023 at 7:01 PM CDT
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HARVEST, Ala. (WAFF) - In a lawsuit filed against Pineview Christian Academy and its administrator Timothy Payne, attorneys claim a 15-year-old student had been sexually assaulted by a 17-year-old student at a school-sponsored camp last September.

The lawsuit says the school investigated the claim but found no evidence.

The suit goes on to claim the girl was the victim of retaliation soon after and that parents voiced their complaints of retaliation to Payne multiple times, but nothing was done.

“We were just surprised with the way the school chose to handle this very serious allegation and we were disappointed in the way they had done that and we feel like a law has been broken,” said plaintiff attorney Eric Artrip.

The lawsuit says in November, Pineview’s Board of Administrations sent an email to the victim’s parents proposing a “mutual separation” that would have removed her and her siblings from the school.

The victim’s parents did not agree to the terms and withdrew the students of their own choice.

Finally, the lawsuit claims on the victim’s final day of school, Payne approached the family with a quote “separation agreement,” but upon further review was a non-disclosure agreement absolving the school of all claims.

“What we’ve seen is some very deceptive behavior on their part to not only completely inappropriately address the allegations -- very serious allegations of sexual assault -- but then also to try to cover their tracks on the way out with this family who is understandably distraught,” Artrip said. “And [we have] this young girl who’s still reeling from the effects of what she had gone through.”

Plaintiff attorney Eric Artrip says the family is not looking for a payday but rather just doing what’s right by their daughter.

“She thinks that by bringing this case, she may make schools safer for children and women in education settings, and I hope so too,” Artrip said.

Friday afternoon, WAFF 48 heard back from Pineview administrator Tim Payne and he said they received a letter today about this lawsuit and they are in touch with attorneys to answer questions in the days to come.

If we do receive any official statement, this web story will be updated with it.

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