The San Jose school district has been brought to trial by a group of parents, two years after a San Jose elementary school teacher was found guilty of molesting students in his classroom.
The trial has been brought up by a group of four families of some of the young victims, who believe that the San Jose school district itself “turned a blind-eye” to many years of Craig Chandler’s depraved acts while placed in a position of responsibility and trust as a teacher at O.B. Whaley Elementary School.
The case will also examine how schools in the area abide by laws concerning suspicions of sexual assault — how they are reported and the procedures in place to prevent cases similar to the Chandler case occurring.
There has been no monetary claim thus far, but it is predicted that the San Jose school district might face a penalty reaching in to the millions of dollars.
Neither side’s lawyers have released statements to the press though court papers declare that a San Jose school district lawyer had this to say
“No Evergreen employee — much less supervisor, as the law required — witnessed any overtly sexual act towards a child from Chandler or anyone else”
San Jose school district officials also stated that they felt “compassion” for the students, but deny any knowledge of Chandler’s inhumane acts.
Chandler himself is serving a 75-year sentence in a state prison for molesting five of his elementary school students. This case, however, was brought up mainly on the information that ex-principal Lyn Vijayendran failed to report the sexual abuse by Chandler to the San Jose police department, even though it was described to her in vivid detail.
It is reported that a child’s parent once went to Vijayendran after her child revealed that she was told to wear a blindfold by Chandler. The child was then sexually abused. The limp response from the San Jose school board was telling Chandler to “stop playing the Helen Keller game”. To add to this, in 2012, the new principal Lea Peery merely told a mother, “oh no, not again” when Chandler was once again reported for similar behavior to the “Helen Keller” incident.
To add to Peery and Vijayendran’s exploits, the San Jose school board must also argue against other accusations regarding their ignorance of Chandler’s behavior prior to the molestation charge. The sexual deviant was the accused in many different sexual harassment reports from other female members of staff.
The San Jose school district maintains its innocence, though the families of the victims want them to pay for their failures.
[Photo Credit: Gary Reyes]