PERRYTON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the Perryton Independent School District commented on Thursday regarding the recent Amarillo Federal Court lawsuit involving multiple instances of alleged sexual assaults that happened to a former Perryton High School basketball player.
According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, the mother of the former basketball player, both unidentified in the lawsuit, sued a player who allegedly committed the assault, two players who filmed the alleged assault and distributed it on social media and the coach who allegedly “was present and able to stop the abuse, but did nothing.” The district was also listed in the lawsuit, with the plaintiff alleging that it violated Title IX.
In a response given to MyHighPlains.com, Perryton ISD Superintendent James Mireles said that the district was served with the lawsuit on Wednesday. Mireles said that the claims of “sexual assault” as well as the claims of “creating and distributing child pornography” were investigated by law enforcement and reviewed by the Ochiltree County Attorney in 2021. Mireles argued against the lawsuit’s claims that the district “has a practice and culture of condoning sexual hazing, assault and harassment of student-athletes.”
“The District strongly disagrees with the categorization of the conduct and a number of ‘facts’ alleged in the lawsuit,” Mireles said in the statement. “Student safety and well-being are of the utmost importance to the District. We take all reports of student and employee misconduct involving students or minors seriously, and we do not condone bullying, hazing, sexual harassment or criminal conduct by students or staff. Administration initiated an investigation and provided supportive measures upon being informed of the incident in 2021. The District has strict policies against such alleged misconduct and strives to provide all students with a safe learning environment. Please be assured that Perryton ISD takes its responsibility for student safety extremely seriously.”
In the statement, Mireles went on to say that the district maintains that it acted in compliance with Title IX, along with other laws. Mireles stressed that “in accordance with state and federal law, and out of respect for the privacy of the parties involved,” Perryton ISD will not further comment publicly on the lawsuit, stating that they will “not discuss or disclose confidential student or personnel information or details” on the matter.
Mireles said that the district is expected to file its response to the lawsuit in the coming weeks. As of Thursday morning, the only other document filed in Amarillo Federal Court surrounding this lawsuit is a request by the plaintiff to continue using a pseudonym, which has not been responded to yet.