Kuna district sued over sexual allegations

Kuna School District officials failed to stop an office manager from “grooming” a student for a sexual relationship, leaving the student vulnerable to a sexual predator, according to a civil lawsuit filed last week.

The Idaho Statesman reported on the civil suit Thursday.

In the lawsuit, filed on behalf of the student, attorneys seek at least $2 million in damages from the district, the Statesman reported.

The case involves Melissa Whiteley, a Kuna Middle School office manager who was fired in November after she was accused of inappropriate contact with a minor. Whiteley has not been charged with a crime but remains under investigation, Ada County sheriff’s spokesman Patrick Orr told the Statesman.

The civil suit, and the Statesman’s story on the suit, brings new allegations to light.

Lawyers say Whitley groomed a student who suffers from a learning disorder, engaging in a sexual relationship for three years. Lawyers say school officials were aware of the situation. But employees “disregarded the public, obvious and glaring red flags that Whiteley could be or was a sexual predator; they allowed the constant contact in the office complex without voicing disapproval and to the contrary, making coy chiding remarks,” according to the lawsuit, as quoted by the Statesman.

Kuna School District spokesman David Reinhart declined to comment to the Statesman.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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