District Apologizes For Abuse Case Legal Wording

Moraga School District says it is sorry for 'any anxiety or distress' from basing a possible defense in Cunnane sex abuse case on negligence by the victim.

The Moraga School District has said it is sorry.

In the wake of outrage over wording of a legal brief, the district's leadership issued a news release apologizing to Kristen Cunnane that the district's legal papers indicated that one possible defense to the lawsuit by the former student was that she had some responsibility for the sexual abuse she suffered from teachers at Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School in the 1990s.

Cunnane, now 30 and living in Walnut Creek, has sued the district and three former administrators for negligence and fraudulent concealment, alleging that administrators ignored evidence of sexual abuse.

After a Wednesday morning meeting of the Governing Board, the district issued a news release: "The Governing Board has directed its attorney to withdraw the defense of comparative fault and any assertion of carelessness or negligence on the part of Ms. Cunnane. The Governing Board and its attorneys, Stubbs and Leone, apologize to Ms. Cunnane for any anxiety or distress caused by the inclusion of this defense in its response to her pleading."

When the language of the district's legal papers was aired in the media last week, that the District would blame me for the years of horrific sexual abuse I was subjected to when I was just a child. There is a critical need for a culture shift in Moraga and elsewhere when it comes to tolerance of child abuse in schools, and this just underscores that we have further to go than I even thought."

Bailey Lee November 09, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.......not looking good.
Usual Suspect November 09, 2012 at 06:22 PM
The mere fact that they, The School Board, allowed that defense or even the language to be in the defense suggest that "win at any and all costs" behavior is ok with the school board is reprehensible. Easy solution, make a difference. Show up at the School Board Meetings, write the school board. email them, fax them. Tell them how you feel. If you don't do, don't complain!
Andrew November 09, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Moraga's prominent citizens are probably re-thinking their endorsements on Dexter Louie's Re-Election Committee in light of the most recent developments. I've always found that paper bags work well to hide one's identity in public.
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