The student, identified only as C.D. in the lawsuit filed earlier this month, alleges Miguel Cembrano, a teacher’s assistant in her history class, regularly discussed sexual topics with her, and eventually convinced her to send him a topless photo.
She was 14 years old.
Former student Grace Winn also has sued the private school in Linda Vista, alleging that Cembrano, her teacher and basketball coach, treated her in a similar fashion.
In March of 2015, the school fired Cembrano because he “had engaged in inappropriate conduct with a student,” according to Winn’s lawsuit.
He later worked at High Tech High in Point Loma, where the girls’ attorneys allege he sexually abused a student, then committed suicide before that alleged assault could be fully investigated.
Cembrano died in 2016.
Both students claim Cembrano displayed inappropriate and overly familiar behavior with students, which they say school administrators should have recognized and stopped.
However, C.D.’s filing alleges that the school has fostered a culture in which school officials “repeatedly turned a blind eye to incidents of sexual misconduct.”
The latest suit states that a current administrator sexually abused an unnamed student, who has since died, in 2013.
C.D.’s lawsuit also alleges that when Cembrano applied for a full-time teaching position during the 2013-14 school year, two teachers warned the administrator that Cembrano should not be offered the job.
He had a “habit of texting with young female students, which they believed was inappropriate,” according to the suit.
The suit further states that school officials failed to notify the police or Child Protective Services about any of the allegations as required by law.
Susan Lester, chair of the school’s Board of Trustees, said in a statement that the allegations “are completely inaccurate and will be responded to as part of the legal process.”
Regarding the allegations against the administrator, who currently serves as an assistant head of school, Lester said Francis Parker “is compelled to share its outrage at the false, salacious and cruel attack.”
She said that the claims referenced against him “were, in fact, previously reported to the appropriate authorities, independently and thoroughly investigated and debunked.”
She added that “Parker stands by” the administrator and intends “to aggressively defend” both the man and the school against what she called “baseless allegations.”
Lester further asked that members of the Francis Parker community “reserve judgment until all the facts can come to light.”
– City News Service