MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The family of a teenage girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a former Brownsville Middle School teacher has filed a lawsuit against the Miami-Dade County School Board for, amongst other things, failure to protect the safety of minors who attend their schools.
The lawsuit claims former Brownsville Middle School physical education teacher Wendell Nibbs sexually harassed, assaulted and raped the victim, referred to as “Jane Doe,” staring in her 6th grade school year and continuing through the end of her 8th grade on school premises.
“We see Nibbs as a predator who used Brownsville Middle School as his hunting ground,” said attorney Aaron Karger.
The suit also claims Nibbs, a married father of two, sent the victim sexually explicit photographs of himself.
The legal action alleges the school and School Board were “well aware of Nibbs’ inappropriate and illegal behavior,” as well as “the risk he posed to young female students and did nothing about it.”
“These young girls were to some degree, vulnerable, special needs young women,” said Karger.
The victim’s mother appeared in a press conference outside the Miami-Dade County School Building in downtown Miami on Monday morning. She asked reporters to conceal her identity.
“As a mother, it was very hurting and it’s still hurting to this day,” she said. “To see my child have to go through something that I thought the school was there to protect her. And she suffers every day.”
She was joined by another mother who says her daughter was sexually harassed, assaulted and discriminated against on the basis of her sexual orientation by Nibbs on school property in 2016.
Lawyers said that lawsuit will be filed later this month.
The victim in that case, “Jan Doe,” claims she was sexually harassed and discriminated against by Nibbs because of her sexual orientation. Her mother wants to see someone come forward and take responsibility.
“It’s devastating because I think the school system should acknowledge the things that are going on with those young victims,” said Jan Doe’s mother. “You know that these guys are preying on. They’re manipulating them because they’re young and vulnerable.”
A third lawsuit is forthcoming and will be filed on behalf of another victim at a later time, attorneys said.
Attorneys representing the mothers in the case against the School Board believe there may be other victims.
It is alleged that Nibbs was accused by several students, between 2004 and 2016, of making “inappropriate sexual comments, engaging in inappropriate physical contact of a sexual nature, and sending or showing them sexually explicit photographs.”
The lawsuit contends that despite these accusations Nibbs was allowed to remain at Brownsville Middle as an educator.
In a statement, Miami-Dade Public Schools says they do not condone the action alleged in the lawsuit and that quote: “We strive to provide a safe and productive learning and working environment for both our students and staff. All allegations are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. This individual is no longer employed with our school district.”