Local and National Media, Including USA Today, Report on Wagner Reese's Lawsuit Against IPS
Yesterday attorney Stephen Wagner filed a lawsuit against the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and several administrators based upon former Vice Principal Corey Greenwood’s 2012 sexual assault of a 16 year old IPS student. Wagner Reese disclosed that IPS had previously investigated a similar complaint against Greenwood, but transferred and promoted him instead of firing him.
Wagner Reese released the following press release related to the suit:
Wagner Reese Press Release for IPS Lawsuit
Today a nineteen-year-old young woman filed filed a federal lawsuit against the Indianapolis Public Schools and the former IPS employee who sexually abused her, Corey Greenwood, as well as other former IPS administrators who had knowledge of prior abuse. The lawsuit stems from misconduct by Greenwood in 2012 when the victim was 16 years old and a student at George Washington High School (GWHS). The Complaint alleges that the Defendants are liable under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 because multiple IPS officials, including the Director of Secondary Education, the Chief of Human Resources, the IPS Police Chief, and the principal of GWHS, had actual knowledge of Greenwood’s prior misconduct with at least one other female student, had authority to institute corrective measures, but nevertheless failed to do so. The Complaint also alleges that IPS negligently hired and retained Greenwood despite knowing that he posed a known danger to minor female students. IPS not only continued to employ Greenwood after his prior misconduct with students became known, but IPS even promoted him to positions which afforded him greater access to his victims such as the Plaintiff in this case.
Sadly, the sexual abuse the Plaintiff was subjected to could and should have been prevented by IPS. This was not an isolated incident for which IPS had no advance warning. Specifically, IPS investigated a previous incident where Greenwood ‘French kissed’ a female high school student in his classroom, made sexually suggestive comments to the student, and pulled her bra strap out of her shirt before she left the room in tears. As a result of this prior incident, Greenwood had to submit to a polygraph which indicated he lied about the incident, denying kissing the student, pulling out her bra strap, being alone in his classroom with the student, or telling the student that he wanted to be with her sexually. Despite having clear evidence of an inappropriate relationship with a female student, IPS failed to terminate Greenwood. Greenwood’s modus operandi in this prior incident was strikingly similar to his actions in this case—allowing a female student to skip class and “hang out” in his classroom or office, communicating with the student by cell phone, buying gifts, and looking for every opportunity to steer a conversations to sexual topics. Greenwood’s efforts were undertaken with the purpose of establishing an emotional connection so as to lower the victims’ inhibitions for sexual abuse. This process in the context of child sexual abuse is commonly referred to as “grooming.” Much of this grooming in this case occurred in plain sight of students, teachers and the principal at GWHS. For example, Greenwood would regularly allow female students, including the Plaintiff, to skip classes and sit in his office for long periods of time during the school day. Greenwood also picked up and dropped the Plaintiff off at her place of work, bought her shoes and other gifts, allowed her into the building after school hours, and sent her literally thousands of text messages—many sexually explicit.
When the abuse which led to this lawsuit took place, Greenwood was employed as the Dean of Students and basketball coach at GWHS. Traditionally, Dean of Students is an administrative position requiring the educator to have completed a Master’s Degree in Education, a qualification which Greenwood did not have. What Greenwood did have was connections—namely, his mother, Jacqueline Greenwood. Dr. Greenwood was a longtime IPS teacher, principal and administrator. In 2007, IPS promoted Dr. Greenwood to Director of Secondary Education, a position which placed her in charge of her son, his colleagues, and all those, notwithstanding the Superintendent, who might be in a position to discipline him. The simple fact is that Corey Greenwood should never have been employed by IPS when the Plaintiff was abused. Greenwood’s prior history of misconduct should have lead IPS to fire him long before this incident. There can be only one explanation for why he wasn’t fired: the culture of rampant nepotism which has pervaded IPS for years. IPS administrators brushed this prior incident—and other incidents and warning signs uncovered during the police investigation—under the rug. Much like the Catholic Church transferred predatory priests to other parishes, IPS moved the son of a legend to another school giving him an opportunity to prey on other victims.
When the abuse occurred, the Plaintiff was a 21st Century Scholar, lettered in three varsity sports, and was the only GWHS student selected as an IPS Athlete of Character. As of 2013, 100% of Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars attended college with 85% attending Indiana Public Colleges, 12% attending Indiana Private Colleges, and 3% attending out-of-state colleges thanks to a generous college scholarship and support services which continue throughout their university matriculation. Although the Plaintiff was able to complete her high school education at another school, Greenwood’s abuse and its aftermath have had lasting effects on her. She is currently serving in the Army reserve and still hopes to attend college.
Our client has filed this lawsuit for two reasons. First, she wants to hold Greenwood, his mother and IPS accountable for what happened. Although Greenwood plead guilty to child seduction and obstruction of justice, he spent only 14 days in jail. Second, she wants to help prevent other teenage girls from being similarly victimized. When schools put students at risk by employing known predators, there will be consequences.
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Do You Feel You Have a Case Against IPS?
Wagner Reese has investigated and handled various types of negligence cases against IPS on behalf of students, employees and parents, some of which include:
- Injuries that occurred on school premises
- Sexual misconduct
- IPS bus crashes
If you believe that your injury and damages are a result of IPS negligence, please contact our office and ask to speak with an attorney about your potential case.
Wagner Reese never charges a consultation fee, and the only way we collect payment for our services is if we win your case. You can reach us direct by dialing (888) 204-8440, or you can write to us by using our contact form.