Suit: School didn’t protect them

Published 1:31 am Saturday, November 3, 2012

The families of victims in an Andalusia schoolteacher’s sexual abuse case are suing the school system, two teachers and system administrators for allegedly failing to protect the children from a “sexual predator.”

That allegation is one in seven-count civil suit filed Oct. 29 following the 2011 conviction of Amy Kathleen Caudle, the former Andalusia Middle School special education teacher who pled guilty to sodomizing two teens.

The suit was filed by Daleville attorney Charles Neville Reese on behalf of the victims’ grandmother and fathers, and listed the Andalusia City School System, Caudle, AMS principal Victoria Anderson, Andalusia High School principal Dr. Daniel Shakespeare and teacher Angie Grimes as the defendants.

Court records show the suit alleges the system and administrators allowed an environment conducive to developing the sexual relationships, and as a result, “the children were injured and damaged, suffered mental and emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation and their education opportunities were interfered with.”

It also alleges the school board not only failed to provide an educational environment in a “school free from the influence of sexual predators and free from assaults,” but it also allegedly failed to adopt or enforce a policy stating such. It also alleges Anderson failed to adequately supervise Caudle and “allowed conditions to exist that promoted the formation of inappropriate relationships between Caudle and students.”

Count 3 of the suit alleges one of the victims, an AHS student, was also subject to “assault and battery” on two occasions last month, when Grimes allegedly shoved him while he was seated in his desk. The suit further alleges Shakespeare failed to enforce the school’s corporeal punishment policy.

The families are demanding judgment and are seeking an unspecified amount in punitive damages.

Court records also show the school system was notified of the suit Thursday. The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan, and no court date is set.

Caudle is serving a split 15-year sentence – three years in jail and 12 years on probation– at Tutwiler Prison for Women. She is scheduled for release on April 27, 2014.