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3 former employees of The Laradon School in Colorado file lawsuit, say they were sexually assaulted

Three former employees of The Laradon School have filed a lawsuit against the school because they claim repeated violent sexual assaults while working as educators. Laradon is located in Denver and serves students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Two of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Victoria Schmidt and Kendal Lansing, served as paraprofessionals at the school. The third plaintiff, Brooke Swenson, served as a special education teacher.

Those who have filed the lawsuit have given CBS News Colorado permission to publish their names.

The Laradon School CBS

According to Hutchinson Black and Cook, LLC, legal counsel representing the former employees, the three were hired right out of college and "were excited to start their careers working with students with disabilities. When applying to work at Laradon, they were consistently assured Laradon did not admit students with sexualized behaviors towards others. Once they arrived at the school, prior to their classroom placements, they likewise received minimal training with no training for how to handle sexual assaults by students."

The former employees claim that the assurances they would not encounter students with sexualized behaviors were false. They claim they suffered multiple violent sexual assaults and have suffered substantial injuries. They also claim they were forced to leave Laradon for their own safety. 

Attorney Dan Williams, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, issued this statement: "The promise of Laradon as a place to start a career helping children with disabilities turned out to be a horrific ordeal for each of these plaintiffs, filling them with daily fear when going to work as they were subjected to sexual abuse at the hands of two different students." 

Kimberly Hult, co-counsel for the plaintiffs, issued this statement: "It is terrible that these three talented, enthusiastic young educators have been driven away from the field of teaching students with disabilities because of Laradon's repeated failures to create a safe environment at its school." 

The alleged assaults happened in late 2021 into 2023. 

The Laradon School gave this statement to CBS News Colorado, We are deeply committed to ensuring the safety of our Laradon community, and we have clear policies and procedures in place to respond to incidents of physical or sexual aggression quickly and consistently. Despite our best efforts to reach a mutual resolution and underscore our commitment to safety, we are disappointed to learn three former staff members have filed a complaint against Laradon that greatly mischaracterizes our response to incidents that happened while they were employed with us. Out of respect for the privacy of those involved, and as this is an active lawsuit, we are unable to provide details other than confirming two students were discharged from The Laradon School in connection with these incidents.

We greatly appreciate our passionate Laradon employees who serve over 400 high-need IDD adults and children daily with compassion and respect, and we remain committed to our vital mission.

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