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Friday, May 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Family Says School Gave Predator a Pass

VANCOUVER, Wash. (CN) - A Christian high school hired a coach who had sexually preyed upon a girl at another school, and did not notify police or parents when he did it again in Vancouver, his alleged victim says.

The girl and her parents sued Vancouver Christian High School in Clark County Court.

They claim the school hired Richard Parrett despite his behavior at a previous school.

"Prior to hiring Richard Parrett, Vancouver Christian High School did not check or determine whether or not Richard Parrett was an appropriate person to work with and be in a teacher/coach relationship with young women," the complaint states. "Had they appropriately checked, they would have determined that Richard Parrett had had another inappropriate sexual relationship with a student or person under his guidance and control at a different high school."

The family says Parrett "secret relationship" with their daughter begin in January 2009, and "escalated into a sexual intimate relationship thereafter."

The family adds: "Roger Miller, the school principal of Vancouver Christian High School during 2009 was advised of the inappropriate relationship between [the girl] and Parrett. When advised of the relationship, Roger Miller failed to notify police authorities, the parents of [the girl] or to take other appropriate action including, but not limited to the dismissal of Mr. Parrett."

The family seeks damages for counseling expenses, emotional distress, loss of consortium and interference with and damage to the parent-child relationship.

The only defendant is the high school itself.

KATU News in Vancouver reported on Dec. 30, 2009, that Parrett was sentenced to 17½ months in prison. KATU reported that Parrett's first sexual misconduct had been reported in 1996, when he was a youth pastor in Oregon. Two other schools then hired Parrett before he worked for Vancouver Christian, at least one of which knew of his history, according to KATU.

The family is represented by Craig Schauermann with Schauermann Thayer Jacobs & Staples.

Many schools give sexual predators a pass, allow them to resign quietly and pass them on to other districts, to avoid scandal, despite state laws that require them to report the teachers to police.

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