Apparently, some communities are OK with pedophilia. At least, that’s the impression the Vineland, New Jersey, school district has given by failing to intervene in an inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a 13-year-old student.
The minor’s guardian has filed a federal lawsuit, which claims teachers, principals, and administrators “turned a blind eye and deaf ear” to teacher Richard Super’s misconduct.
Super, 36, was arrested in June 2016 and was charged with endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly sending communications of a “sexual nature” to one of his 13-year-old female students.
At the time, Super was placed on paid leave but later resigned in September 2016. In May of this year, he pleaded guilty to fourth-degree cruelty and neglect to children and was sentenced to two years of probation in addition to losing his teaching license.
This particular lawsuit reportedly goes beyond Super and names the Vineland Board of Education, Vineland School District Superintendent Mary Gruccio, Anthony Rossi Intermediate School principal Tammy Monahan, and assistant principal Michael Sullivan as defendants.
Students and teachers allegedly observed Super’s suspicious behavior with the student and notified upper administration, but upon being alerted, they took no action.
The lawsuit claims that one month before Super’s arrest, he was called into principal Monahan’s office and warned that his interactions with the unnamed student “did not seem appropriate.”
The defendants are accused of knowing about Super bringing the student breakfast, sitting with her at lunch, visiting her gym class, communicating with her through email, giving her special attention during class, and having private discussions with her in the hallway.
Investigators found the two had exchanged nearly 4,600 emails within a two-month span. Furthermore, the messages that were sexual in nature were sent and received through a school-issued account.
"While the ex-teacher has been prosecuted, the full measure of justice requires that those who failed to protect this young, vulnerable victim — who is emotionally scarred for life — be held accountable," said Paul R. D'Amato, of the D'Amato Firm, who is representing the student. "We hope to ensure that what happened to our client never happens again."
The district allegedly failed to use its email software monitoring program that could have picked up on the “teacher’s outrageous and prohibited pattern of electronic conduct.” For example, in one of the messages, the student told Super that they were “naked buddies,” which is language that should have been detected by the monitoring software as inappropriate.
As a result of this ordeal, the student is reportedly battling anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The entire situation is sickening, and who knows if Super has a history of this behavior with other young girls that has flown under the radar. If parents can't even trust their children with educators, who can they trust?
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Flickr, blameless-eyes