Some 35 students at the Hawaii Center for the Deaf and Blind were sexually assaulted since 2007 by a group of other students who called themselves “the Ringleaders,” according to a lawsuit filed today in Circuit Court.
The class action suit was filed by attorney Michael Green on behalf of the mother of one of the alleged victims, who is identified only as a minor male who is deaf.
“For many years, the school had had a problem with certain students, some of whom called themselves the Ringleaders, who on an ongoing basis bullied, terrorized, assaulted, robbed, sodomized, raped …and/or sexually attacked students who were younger and smaller,” the suit charged.
Police last week said they are investigating the allegations.
School administrators and a counselor had knowledge of the alleged attacks as early as 2007 but allowed the Ringleaders to continue at the school and continue their assaults, according to Green’s suit.
When the state, which operates the school, took no effective action against the victimizers, they were “emboldened and their wrongful conduct continued,” the suit said.
Sex assaults allegedly occurred in school bathrooms, the indoor swimming pool and the woodshop.
“At one point, a young girl on a school bus in the presence of other students was coerced into giving oral sex to a member of the Ringleaders who filmed the act on his cell phone” and laer showd the video to others, according to the suit.
Named as defendants are the State of Hawaii, which operates the school, the school administrator and a counselor.