Parent Sues ISD After 5-Year-Old’s Alleged Assault

Prosper Independent School District
Prosper Independent School District | Image by CBS Texas

The parent of a 5-year-old who was allegedly physically assaulted by his teacher is suing Prosper Independent School District for negligence.

On the evening of March 23, 2023, a mother whose son attended Rucker Elementary was informed by an officer with the PISD Police Department that he had been physically harmed by his teacher, Peggy May, earlier that day, according to Texas Scorecard.

During a disciplinary effort, May had allegedly stepped on the child’s leg, grabbed him by the ankles, and dragged him across the floor, resulting in visible injuries, per the legal complaint filed in Collin County.

“Upon information and belief, Defendant May was investigated by the Texas State Board of Education and received a reprimand on October 16, 2023,” the complaint read.

This reprimand had no bearing on May’s teaching certificate, which is still valid, per Texas Scorecard.

The plaintiff is demanding monetary compensation for the alleged mental anguish suffered by both the student and his mother, alongside the physical injuries incurred.

The complaint cites both the arrest and subsequent suicide of a district bus driver, Frank Paniagua, who was accused of sexually abusing two girls from that same elementary school more than 100 times in 2021, as well as a ‘runaway’ bus driver incident during the 2022-2023 school year.

The lawsuit suggests that these episodes and the 5-year-old’s alleged assault are “part of a larger pattern of students being abused and staff failing to intervene at Rucker Elementary,” as well as testaments to how a “lack of accountability is pervasive in PISD.”

PISD officials have not commented on the legal proceedings. However, the district is no stranger to parent criticism.

As reported by The Dallas Express, some PISD parents held protests calling for enhanced transparency when the 2021 sexual abuse cases became public — only after the victims’ parents sued the district. Scrutiny continued in 2023 when Andrew Wilborn, the president of PISD’s board of trustees, was arrested for allegedly engaging in indecency with a minor while working as a Dallas church pastor. The church had been made aware of the allegations in 2022.

While school officials have been called out for alleged absences of transparency in the face of allegations of staff and teacher misconduct, state education officials have also been scrutinized for potentially mishandling their reporting.

As covered by The Dallas Express, the advocacy group Citizens Defending Freedom recently released a report suggesting that the Texas Education Agency handles misconduct reports from Texas public schools, finding “serious and unjust inconsistencies” in its current reporting system.

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