Family of former Cedar Creek student sues school for allegations of sexual assault, bullying

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 3:40 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2021 at 11:38 PM CDT
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RUSTON, La. (KSLA) - The family of a former Cedar Creek student has filed a lawsuit against the private school for allegedly allowing situations of bullying and sexual assault to happen on its campus.

The school denies all allegations against them. The plaintiffs are suing the school and the parents of the alleged bullies on behalf of their minor child, who we will refer to as “Paul” in order to not identify a juvenile victim.

According to allegations in the lawsuit, the child endured bullying from September of 2020 through at least May 13, 2021. Students allegedly called that day “[Paul] Hell Day.” The lawsuit describes it as “a day where months of bullying, pain, and suffering would culminate.”

Throughout the 2020-21 school year, it is alleged he was pinned down by classmates and forcibly penetrated on more than 25 separate occasions. The plaintiffs also claim the students recorded some of these assaults and even presented them to an entire French class, including the teacher.

The lawsuit also says multiple coaches knew of the bullying and apologized to the parents.

In a statement emailed to KSLA on Sunday, Sept. 19, Cedar Creek head of school, Andy Yepson, wrote:

“We are aware of the allegations and claims that have been made against Cedar Creek and other individuals in a lawsuit that has been filed. We categorically deny all of the allegations made in the lawsuit and are evaluating appropriate legal responses, including the filing of a counter suit for libel and defamation.

The allegations raised in the lawsuit were investigated by Cedar Creek as soon as they were first brought to our attention in May 2021. Based on that investigation and school policy, five students were expelled.”

The investigation, handled by a retired Ruston police officer hired by the school, did not make any findings about alleged sexual assault.

The statement from the school goes on to say:

“With regard to the specific phrases ‘allowed’ or ‘without intervention,’ those are entirely inaccurate – nothing was ever known or allowed, and as soon as the circumstances became known to school administration on May 13, we intervened immediately,

We remain committed to ensuring that Cedar Creek provides a safe, secure environment for all students. Bullying, harassment, intimidation, stalking, and similar actions have no place in our school community and will not be tolerated.”

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