Report: Student who fathered teacher's baby gets $6 million settlement
A former high school student who fathered a child with his teacher in Southern California will reportedly get a hefty settlement from the school district.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in the $6-million agreement announced Friday, Redlands Unified School District officials admitted no wrongdoing by settling the lawsuit and placed the entire blame on the teacher, LauraWhitehurst.
“In the long run, $6 million is high, but it could have been much higher if this had been left to an empathetic jury in another city looking past the facts to find a financial scapegoat for the unprofessional, criminal actions of one individual,” District spokesman Tom DeLapp said.
Whitehurst, a former AP English teacher in Redlands, had a baby girl in June 2013 and originally faced 41 felony counts of having sex with a minor and oral copulation with a person under the age of 18. She previously took a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to six of the 41 counts.
In 2014, attorneys for the student, who is now 21, sued Whitehurst, and the school district, CBS Los Angeles reported.
Vince Finaldi, an attorney for the student, said Redlands Unified School District “turned a blind eye” to the teacher’s conduct, the Times reported.
“The size of this settlement represents the gravity of the damage done to this young victim and his family and it also highlights the extreme malfeasance and neglect by school officials who turned a blind eye to the criminal conduct of a teacher and failed to protect a student,” Finaldi said.
The suit alleged the defendants failed to inform the victim’s family and law enforcement after they had reason to believe Whitehurst, now 29, was sexually abusing students.
Four of those counts involved the father of her child, who Whitehurst had a relationship with for more than a year, according to officials. The sexual contact began in the summer of 2012 when the boy was 16 years old.
Lawyers of the victim previously said he was stalked by Whitehurst. She told him she could not get pregnant.
The student, who was present at the birth, has shared custody of the baby, CBS Los Angeles reported. The custody agreement involves a court-ordered representative that facilitates custody exchanges as there is a no-contact order between the child’s parents.
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