The parents of a Liberty High School student are suing the Kern High School District, accusing KHSD of not doing enough to prevent alleged sexual misconduct by a teacher.
Jeffery Hicks, a Liberty high school math teacher and basketball coach, is facing accusations he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl.
KGET is withholding the names of the parents to protect the identity of their daughter
“She’s definitely struggling,” the girl’s mother said.
Hicks is accused of having a sexual relationship with the girl from last summer through November of 2018. Court documents indicate Hicks told investigators he kissed the girl at his home and frequently texted her and received photos of her through Snapchat.
“We want the school to take this seriously, the district to take this seriously,” the mother said.
The parents said they are suing the district because they felt KHSD did not do enough to prevent the alleged assault.
“This case is pretty sad. It’s sad because it was 100 percent preventable,” said the family’s attorney, Daniel Rodriguez.
Hicks had previously been reported for inappropriate conduct with at least one other female student, according to Rodriguez. He said the district did not act on the allegations.
“The school district already had notice,” he said. “They already knew. They already had at least a couple of reports regarding the teacher/coach. And they dropped the ball. They didn’t do what they were supposed to do.”
He says it got even worse when the school brought in a private investigator to look into the claims
“They threatened her and said if you don’t cooperate, or your friends don’t cooperate because we want to interview them, we’re going to call campus security.”
In the lawsuit, the parents are seeking money damages and are asking the district provide mandatory training for all employees about educator sexual misconduct.
“Our biggest hope is that with this happening to our daughter, that it won’t happen to someone else. That the district takes a hard look at what they’re doing. That’s ultimately our hope. Is that the result of all this will be good and better for other people.”
KGET reached out to the district for comment. In a statement , a representative issued the following statement:
“Regarding the suit filed today: the Kern High School District is unable to comment on pending litigation.”
Hicks pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor sexual misconduct with a child. Earlier this year, district officials said Hicks is on unpaid administrative leave.