School of the Osage administrators named in sexual abuse lawsuit

6 months 3 days 17 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 4:24:00 PM CST November 21, 2018 in News
By: Steve Lambson, News Content Manager

MILLER COUNTY - A new complaint filed in federal court Tuesday said adminstrators with the School of the Osage school district failed to take action after hearing accusations of sexual misconduct regarding a teacher.

In April, Miller County deputies arrested Mark Alan Edwards for having inappropriate sexual contact with students. A lawsuit filed in May was moved from Miller County to federal court. That lawsuit named Edwards and the district as defendants, with the district being involved because it employed Edwards.

A new complaint filed on November 20 specifically named four district employees: David Harris, assistant principal at School of the Osage Middle School; Brent Depee, the district superintendent; and Brad Yoder and Laura Nelson, assistant/deputy superintendents.

The complaint said Harris, after hearing complaints against Edwards by the victim's mother, said the matter would be investigated, but did nothing. It further said "Edwards was a state-created danger," and that the "[School] Board and District were deliberately indifferent to the fact Edwards was a sexual predator that was preying upon female students."

The complaint further accuses Harris, Depee, Yoder and Nelson of being consciously indifferent and failing "to investigate complaints against Edwards and/or failed to take any action to remedy and stop the sexual abuse and sexual assaults of students."

The lawsuit seeks damages in the amount of at least $25,000 to compensate for the victim suffering physical and mental trauma, causing her to be "fearful, embarrassed, emotional distressed, suffer from low self-worth, inability to sleep, anxiety, depression, mental distress, panic attacks, pain and suffering."

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