A lawsuit filed in federal court on Aug. 6 against Huntington ISD “seeks to hold HISD liable under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.”
Title IX prevents anyone from being excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of or subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
The lawsuit is being filed by John Doe I on behalf of John Doe II, a minor and former student at HISD who “was sexually assaulted by a fellow student during his freshman year,” according to the lawsuit provided by the Fort Worth personal injury attorney Hutchison & Stoy.
“HISD has had a longstanding culture of tolerating and even encouraging bullying and hazing behavior,” the suit states. “This was true in general, but even more so with student athletes. Students and/or parents who attempted to report bullying or hazing were told to ignore it or to get over it.”
HISD Superintendent David Flowers said he had no comment because neither himself, the HISD board president, the district’s attorneys nor its insurance company had been sent any documentation regarding the suit.
On Jan. 31, Flowers said a student came forward on Jan. 24 with accusations that high school baseball players had sexually abused him as part of an initiation. The District Attorney’s office, Texas Rangers and other law enforcement began an investigation.
All baseball team activities were suspended after the district was made aware, Flowers said. In a statement on Feb. 12, HISD resumed baseball practices and games with Josh Colvert assuming duties as head coach.
Richard Martinez was reinstated as head baseball coach on May 31.
Huntington High School baseball senior Mario Martinez was indicted on March 28 on charges of sexual assault and two counts of attempted sexual assault. HISD senior George William Wagner V was indicted on a charge on April 17 of injury to a child, a third-degree felony.
Both students self reported to the sheriff’s office after the warrants for their arrest were signed. Martinez posted a $40,000 bond to be released. Wagner posted a $5,000 bond and was released.