Parent Files Lawsuit Against School District, Alleges Negligence

The lawsuit alleges the district was negligent in hiring and supervising Chandler.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    The parent of an O.B. Whaley Elementary School student in San Jose who says she was sexually abused by a former teacher filed a lawsuit against the Evergreen School District on Santa Clara County Superior Court Thursday afternoon.

    The lawsuit alleges that the school district was negligent in hiring and supervising teacher Craig Chandler, which it says used his position of authority to lure students into his classroom at recess or lunch under the guise of giving them experiential lessons on Hellen Keller.

    Representatives at the school district could not be reached for comment.

    The district, it alleges, "should have known of Chandler's pedophilic, dangerous, and exploitive propensities," according to the lawsuit.

    It also alleges that former Principal Lyn Vijayendran neglected her legal obligations to notify authorities when she was told by the girl and her parent that Chandler "had put something in (her) mouth while she was blindfolded and alone with him in a classroom." Vijayendran was also told in detail that, "Chandler wiggled the minor's head back and forth and asked her to 'open her legs,'" according to the lawsuit.

    The girl was 8- and-9-years-old when the alleged abuse occurred.

    "She had a legal obligation to either notify law enforcement or child protective services. She did neither," said Paul A. Matiasic, the attorney representing the girl and her parent, who are represented under  the fictitious names Mary Roe and John Roe to protect their identities.

    In July, Vijayendran was charged with a misdemeanor by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office for failing to report the sex crime.

    Craig Chandler, 35, was arrested at his home in San Jose on January 10 on suspicion of several counts of aggravated sexual assault involving children between the ages of 7 and 9. 
    He was charged by the District Attorney's Office with five counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14.

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