LEWISTON, Idaho — A former science teacher filed a notice of tort claim against a northern Idaho school district, claiming she was harassed by students and an administrator.
Lisa Washburn submitted the notice to the Culdesac School District in September, also claiming she was wrongfully fired after showing her students a documentary on the theories of evolution last year, the Lewiston Tribune reported .
Washburn claimed that school administrators did not take appropriate action in response to multiple incidents of harassment and threats by students. In one incident in October 2015, Washburn claimed that a student exposed himself to her.
The incident was reported to administrators, who talked with the student but no additional action was taken, according to the claim.
Washburn also claimed an administrator “began to act in a sexually inappropriate manner” during the following school year.
The district has denied any wrongdoing.
“The Culdesac School District would like to go on record that it believes the tort claim is completely false and has no credibility whatsoever,” Superintendent Alan Felgenhauer said. “We look forward to defending this claim in court and are sure that the court decision will be in favor of the Culdesac School District.”
Washburn is working with the district toward reaching a resolution, Kass Harstad said, her attorney.
“Lisa’s real desire is to get this resolved,” Harstad said. “We are working with the school district to try to achieve that. But like I said, if she needs to take the next step to protect her rights, she’ll do so, and we do stand behind what we put in the notice of claim.”
Washburn is seeking $57,000 in damages, about 18 months of severance pay.
Washburn resigned in March 2017 after working for the district since June 2014. She currently works in the private sector, according to the claim.
The notice is a step before filing a lawsuit. If the parties are unable to reach a resolution, a lawsuit could be filed.
Information from: Lewiston Tribune, http://www.lmtribune.com