A former Highland High School student is suing the Kern High School District and accusing a former vice principal of sexual abuse.
The suit alleges Vice Principal Mark Weir took advantage of a homeless student attending Highland. The student was part of an assistance program.
The student was 16 when he enrolled in 2009.
The documents allege several incidents of abuse, including times where Weir called the student out of class to sexually assault him in Weir’s campus office.
The suit also claims Weir continued to harass the victim as recently as 2017, long after the student left Highland.
According to the Erin Briscoe-Clarke, Public Information Officer for the high school district, Weir started with the district in 1994. He was placed on administrative leave last July and retired in September.
The district released this statement:
“The Kern High School District was shocked and disturbed to learn of allegations against former employee Mark Weir regarding inappropriate conduct with a former student. The District followed its mandated reporting requirements and cooperated with the Bakersfield Police Department. Mr. Weir was placed on administrative leave and removed from contact with students and staff pending the outcome of the investigation.”
“The allegations made in the lawsuit are very troubling,” the statement said, “and the alleged behavior, if true, is reprehensible and goes against our core values as educators. The KHSD and its schools remain committed to the safety and well-being of students, staff, and the Kern High School District community.”
The Bakersfield Police Department said it recommended charges against Weir last year, but the District Attorney’s Office declined to file them in court.
According to the district attorney’s office, after review of the case in Aug. of 2018, charges were not deemed appropriate.
The DA’s office says the evidence available was insufficient to support the “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” required for a criminal conviction at that time.
KGET reached out to Weir for comment, but has not heard from him.