Morgan Hill

Morgan Hill Unified School District Agrees to $8.25M Settlement Following Teacher Molestation Case

Trying to work out a policy on how to deal with a school employee who may be a potential child molester is at the heart of a civil lawsuit between a South Bay school district and victims' parents.

A lawsuit that appeared to be resolved but has hit a snag Monday morning.

The legal battle stems from a criminal case from 2015 when a former Morgan Hill teacher, John Lloyd of Hollister, was convicted on four felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child by force, violence, duress or fear.

The 53-year-old Lloyd was sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading "no contest" to sexually assaulting four victims ranging in age from 9 to 11 years old.

Lloyd was a teacher at Paradise Valley Elementary School.

Three of the victims were reportedly abused at that school from 2012 through 2014.

One victim was reportedly molested around 2004.

The civil lawsuit filed by victims' parents demanded monetary damages and that the Morgan Hill Unified School District adopt a policy focused on the concept of "grooming."

In essence, "grooming" is seen as behavior that sets up future molestation such as, in this case, "trading candy for hugs" and "stroking a child's hair while being seated on a teacher's lap."

According to their attorneys, the parents also want training for students on how to detect and report "grooming."

A policy toward grooming is rare and differs from mandated regulations that require school employees to report any possible signs of child abuse.

NBC Bay Area has learned the district and parents agreed Friday to an $8.25 million settlement and a grooming policy.

But the parents' attorney Robert Allard says the district is still considering the "non-monetary agreement" and will now take the issue up before the school board Tuesday night.

The two sides have agreed to meet in court Wednesday morning to attempt to resolve the non-monetary issue.

Allard says it will not affect the monetary settlement.

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