Sibley, Iowa — Two of the co-defendants in the civil case brought against the Sibley-Ocheyedan School District on behalf of a boy who was allegedly sexually abused by a former teacher — asked the court last fall to dismiss the petitions against them. The court has now rendered a ruling and will not be dismissing the petitions.
The plaintiff in the civil case is a minor, identified only as “C.A.” and C.A.’s mother, “J.A.” The plaintiff alleges that he was sexually abused by former Sibley-Ocheyedan teacher and coach Kyle Ewinger. A criminal case charging Ewinger with Second Degree Sexual Abuse continues in the court system, with a trial scheduled at this point for April.
Last summer, the plaintiffs added to the CIVIL suit, two other school districts where Ewinger had previously been employed. They listed alleged questionable acts in those districts, and said that they too were negligent in not alerting future employers of this conduct, which could have prevented the eventual alleged sexual assault of the victim. The other schools named are the Mediapolis Community School District and the Sioux City Community School District.
Court records indicate that the question of whether or not the other school districts failed to prevent the minor child from being sexually assaulted by one of their former employees may proceed to a jury as can the question of whether those districts failed to notify future employers of Ewinger regarding his alleged prior inappropriate behavior with students at their schools.
Judge Carl Petersen ruled that contrary to the plaintiffs’ claim, the other districts didn’t have a duty to investigate because no Iowa case law exists that stands for creating that duty by law. Petersen wrote that if the Iowa Supreme Court wants to create that duty they can, but he can’t just create it himself.
Petersen also ruled, contrary to the plaintiffs’ claim, that the other school districts do not have a responsibility to protect ALL students from harm — that is, all students, everywhere.
The civil trial is scheduled at this point for October 23rd, 2018 at the Osceola County Courthouse in Sibley.