ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (CN) – Española School District refuses to rein in its private security officers, who assault and batter students and sexually batter them, parents say in a federal class action. The district is north of Santa Fe and south of Taos.
Eight sets of parents say their lawsuit seems from a series of videos that students posted on the Internet. The videos show fights, drug use and intimidation among students, and the parents say this culture of threats and violence has not been sufficiently discouraged by schools’ staff and security forces, and in many cases has been facilitated or worsened.
Many allegations in the 74-page complaint allege that security guards threaten students, ignore reports of threats and intimidation, and conduct unnecessary and intrusive search and seizures.
One student cited a “strip search” that she aborted by refusing to take off her bra.
A mother claims a Big Ross Security guard statutorily raped her daughter, 16-year-old special education student, alleging that he “had sexually penetrated her daughter in his car on a number of occasions.”
The long list of defendants include the Española Public School District and its board, school administrators, Española police officers, Big Ross security services dba ProSec Services, and individual security guards.
The students and parents represented by Shannon Kennedy of Albuquerque.