Damage 'on-going' for family of Shadd student impregnated by teacher
The mother of the special education student who became pregnant by her teacher at Shadd Transition Academy last year charges that even though the relationship was widely known or suspected by school staff, no one shared any concerns with her.
Karen Blue said through her attorney that school officials kept her apprised of other matters regarding the progress of her daughter, Ayanna, now 20 and a senior at the Southeast D.C. school.
"Yet never once during this period was Ms. Blue informed of any rumors or concerns that her emotionally disabled daughter was engaged in a sexual relationship with a teacher three times her age," attorney Kathleen Behan said in a Sept. 23 letter to Andrew Richardson, director of the Office of Risk Management, the District agency where notice of potential legal claims are filed.
Ayanna Blue, who has her own attorney, sued DCPS in U.S. District Court earlier this month, after paternity tests showed a better than 99 percent probability that Robert Weismiller, 58, is the father of her daughter, born Nov. 28, 2009. Weismiller was suspended by DCPS in May 2009 when the pregnancy came to light and was laid off the following October as part of what officials described as a budget-driven reduction in force.
Weismiller did not return a cell phone message Tuesday.
Behan said DCPS was negligent on several fronts, including the "reckless opening" of Shadd in the fall of 2008, when it was plagued by inadequate staffing and dangerous student behavior. Desperate for teachers, Behan said, Weismiller was hired.
Citing investigative reports, Behan wrote: "Virtually every witness interviewed by the DCPS stated that they had either seen Ayanna Blue and Mr. Weismiller alone together in his classroom or had heard rumors and suspected that the two were having a sexual relationship," Behan wrote.
When Karen Blue did learn of the pregnancy, it was a telephone call from Shadd principal Alonzo Randall, Behan said.
"Since the birth of the child, at which Ms. Blue was present, Ms. Blue has provided and continues to provide emotional and other support to Ayanna Blue," Behan wrote. "Her joy of having a grandchild has been overshadowed by the irreparable harm to her daughter and her family. Ms. Blue has limited resources and has suffered extreme stress as a result. These harms will continue indefinitely."
DCPS general counsel James Sandman said Tuesday he had no comment.
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