Jury awards $5.6M to family of abused student

June 26, 2013 at 6:59 PM
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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., June 26 (UPI) -- A California jury that awarded $5.6 million to a family whose daughter was sexually abused by a teacher was "outraged" by officials' conduct, an attorney said.

The Rancho Cucamonga jury Tuesday ordered the Chino Valley Unified School to pay 60 percent of the award, while ordering former Chino Hills High School science teacher John Hirsch to pay the rest, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The abuse occurred even after the student's parents informed school officials in October 2009 about inappropriate emails between Hirsch and their daughter, who was 14 at the time.

Attorney David Ring, who represented the family, said Carl Hampton -- who was school principal at the time -- assured the family he would address the matter and district officials ordered Hirsch to leave the girl alone.

Court records indicate the girl was removed from Hirsch's class but started having lunch with him routinely in his classroom within a few weeks.

"No school administrator ever checked Hirsch's classroom to ensure he was staying away from the girl," Ring said.

"The jury was outraged at the school district's conduct," he said. "This could have been easily prevented if the school had chosen to protect the student, instead of protecting the teacher."

CVUS officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the jury award, the Times said.

Ring is now a convicted sex offender.

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