Family of girl claiming sexual assault on bus files claim against North Kitsap School District

The family of a 7-year-old Kitsap County girl has filed a claim against the North Kitsap School District, saying she was sexually assaulted twice while riding home on a school bus.

KITSAP COUNTY, Wash. — The family of a 7-year-old Kitsap County girl has filed a claim against the North Kitsap School District, saying she was sexually assaulted twice while riding home on a school bus.

According to the complaint, the perpetrator was a boy who was also a student at Gordon Elementary School in Kingston who had been removed from general education buses and placed on a special education bus because of behavioral issues.

“And I don’t understand how that happened,” said Heather Brown, grandmother and legal guardian of the victim.

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According to the complaint, while on board a bus in December 2019, the 7-year-old was found by the driver half-naked with her pants removed.

“And it happened again the next day,” said Brown. “I took her to be checked at the hospital.”

The complaint states the boy sexually assaulted the 7-year-old twice while the two were being driven home from the school.

According to the complaint: “Because of his continual behavioral issues, including fighting another student, the School District removed the male student from that bus. The School District placed him on a Special Ed. Bus, despite the obvious vulnerability of the students who rode the special education bus. The School District provided absolutely no warning about the boy's aggressive, troublesome behavior to the parents of children who rode the bus.”

The district declined to comment but in a statement said authorities have been informed and the district has cooperated with an investigation. Late last year, the North Kitsap School District paid a $5 million settlement for a similar situation after four students were sexually assaulted by students with behavioral issues who had been moved from general education buses to special education buses.

“This is one of our concerns, that this has been part of a pattern of claims and offenses,” said Rhonda McVicker, the girl’s great-grandmother.

“The last place parents should have to be concerned about the safety of their children is at school or on a school bus,” added Brown.

The district has not responded to the complaint. An attorney for the family said a lawsuit could be filed in federal court.