NACS parents file lawsuit against school nurse alleging inappropriate exam of child
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’ NBC) - In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, parents of a 5-year-old claim their child was inappropriately examined by a Northwest Allen County School (NACS) nurse. Parents filed negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and battery claims against the school for an incident last year.
Court documents say that on May 4, 2021, the parent’s child complained to a teacher of itching in the genital area. The teacher sent the victim to the substitute school nurse, Ms. Trisha Booth. When Booth examined the child, the lawsuit says she “performed an invasive and inappropriate examination” of the victim. According to NACS bylaws and policies, the definition of “invasive physical examination” is “any medical examination that involves the exposure of private body parts,” the court documents went on to say.
The parents of the victim say that no attempt was made to contact them before the examination and the child, a minor, was unable to give consent. Ms. Booth then applied Vaseline to the victim’s private body parts, performing a second inappropriate contact with the victim, without the parents’ consent or another adult present, court documents say. Ms. Booth contacted the parents after she examined and treated the victim.
The court documents go on to say that when the parents contacted the principal of the school they say the principal was shocked and apologetic. The parents say they were told that changes would be immediate. But they claim weeks passed with no updated policies or procedures, along with no formal documentation of what happened. On June 26, 2021, the parents received a response from NACS’ Corporation Nurse, Ms. Sherri West, offering “excuses and obfuscation,” documents said. After numerous attempts to meet with Superintendent Chris Himsel, the principal, and Ms. West, the parents were able to meet with them on July 15, 2021.
Documents say the pediatrician for the victim says the victim likely suffered from severe mental and emotional trauma from the incident. The parents also filed a report with the Indiana Department of Child Services, which concluded that “because Ms. Booth did not derive sexual gratification from her examination and treatment of N.R., no further action would be taken against her or NACS,” documents say.
Fort Wayne’s NBC News has reached out to NACS for comment.
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