HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The parents of a now-9-year-old filed a lawsuit against a Horry County private preschool, accusing the school of allowing another child to sexually assault their daughter in 2020.
The lawsuit, filed on April 18, accuses the Palmetto Preschool & Learning Center of ignoring the parents’ reports that their daughter, who was 6 years old at the time, was locked in a bathroom and sexually assaulted by another child at its Carolina Forest location.
The parents accuse the school of “failing to exercise reasonable or slight care to protect [their child] from harm” and “creating a campus environment which subjected [their child] to being repeatedly sexually harassed and/or abused,” among other things, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed under the pseudonyms Mother Doe, Father Doe, and Jane Doe to protect the identities of those involved due to the sensitivity of the situation and the victim’s age.
The child’s mother allegedly reported the incident to the school the day it happened in September 2020, according to the lawsuit. The child’s teacher said the report would be investigated and their daughter would be separated from the other child.
Two days later, the child said she was sexually assaulted again, according to the lawsuit. The parents then reported the second incident to the Palmetto Preschool administrator.
The administrator allegedly told the parents that it was impossible to keep their daughter separated from the other child because the school was understaffed, according to the lawsuit.
The parents then transferred their daughter out of the school and began counseling for depression, anxiety and suicidal ideations, according to the lawsuit.
The parents are seeking an unspecified amount in damages and are demanding a jury trial.
A person at Palmetto Preschool who answered the phone told News13 they couldn’t comment on pending litigation, but said all children at the school are safe and supervised.