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Lawsuit claims CCSD, teachers union protect teachers accused of sexual misconduct

Updated January 12, 2024 - 1:57 pm

The parents of a teen girl filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the Clark County School District and teachers union, alleging they jeopardize student safety by protecting teachers accused of sexual misconduct and allowing them to transfer to other schools.

The parents, listed in court documents as “John and Joann Doe,” filed the lawsuit Jan. 3 in District Court on behalf of their daughter.

The 42-page complaint was filed against the Clark County School District, Clark County Education Association, former Mackey iLead Academy for the Digital Sciences teacher Darryl Lancaster and Mackey Principal Kemala Washington.

The complaint alleges Lancaster began sexually grooming their daughter during the spring 2023 semester.

It also references a collective bargaining agreement reached in 2021 between the school district and teachers union.

“CCSD and CCEA negotiated safe haven and scrubbing provisions for abusers at the expense of student safety,” the complaint alleges.

The agreement also allows for the “transfer of accused teachers to other schools or classrooms despite the threat posed to students,” attorneys for the parents wrote.

Dennis Prince, an attorney for the parents, said Tuesday that the school district has had a number of fairly public cases with sexual abusers over the last few years.

“It requires civil cases just like this to effectuate change,” he said.

Prince alleges that Lancaster was actively sexually grooming the then-13-year-old girl and trying to lure her.

He said that Lancaster parked down the street from the home of the girl’s father. “She snuck out of the house to be with him and that’s how this would be discovered,” the attorney said.

Prince said it came as a shock to the girl’s parents, also noting that messages between the two were discovered and that Lancaster had a prior history of abuse with a student earlier in the year.

“What was more concerning was just the impact on the psyche of a young girl, who is now in active counseling,” he said.

Prince said that Lancaster expressed a genuine interest in the girl — who was a straight-A student — at a vulnerable time in her life and was very friendly, particularly to the girl’s mother.

The district said in a Monday statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that it does not comment on pending litigation.

The teachers union, which represents more than 16,000 licensed employees, said in a Tuesday statement: “CCEA is not the employer and therefore not the party this lawsuit should be focused on.”

Eight schools over 25 years

At the time, Lancaster was a teacher at Mackey, a magnet school in the school district, and a member of the teachers union.

Lancaster was assigned to eight schools over about 25 years until last school year, according to court documents.

Lancaster, then 57, was arrested in May 2023.

He pleaded guilty in late November to felony attempted lewdness with a child under 14 and felony possession of visual pornography presentation depicting sexual conduct of a child.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 28 in District Court.

The girl routinely experienced “battery, inappropriate touching, and sexual abuse” by Lancaster at school, according to the complaint.

He also made sexually suggestive comments and told her that he wanted to have sex with her, the complaint alleges.

Additionally, Lancaster coerced the girl “to sneak out of her house in the middle of the night for the purpose of attempting to have sex with her,” according to the complaint.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com. Follow @julieswootton on X.

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