Berkeley School Counselor Accused of "Pawing and Spanking" Student

Categories: Crime, Education
Berkeley-High-School.jpg
This crosses the line ... even in Berkeley
A Berkeley High School student says her school counselor consistently hugged, spanked, and pawed her at school.

The teen -- who is identified only as Lilah -- and her mother are suing the Berkeley Unified School District, accusing the superintendent of ignoring the girl when she complained that her counselor was sexually harassing her.

According to the lawsuit filed Monday in Alameda County Court, Lilah claims her counselor, Anthony Smith, persistently pawed her and repeatedly asked her to meet him after school to "share his feelings."
He also asked her whether she slept naked.

But when Lilah and her mother reported Smith's behavior, school officials said it wasn't sexual harassment or "severe," according to the claim.

Lilah says Smith would monitor her periodically through the school day and use those moments to make lewd comments and touch her inappropriately. Lilah sent the school's vice president a series of e-mails claiming that Smith had "spanked her buttocks."

"He would always hug me goodbye and would put his face in my chest or rub my back," one e-mail reads.

Mark Coplan, spokesman for the Berkeley Unified School District, said he would not comment on the incident since it is in litigation.

On Sept. 2, 2010, Lilah and her parents obtained a temporary restraining order, requiring Smith to stay 100 yards from the girl and to have no communication with her. Even then, according to the claim, school officials refused to transfer Smith.

In a letter to Lilah's parents, Superintendent William Huyett said that collective bargaining with the school union would get in the way of a transfer or dismissal, and that Smith's conduct was in fact not sexual harassment. He concluded that the transfer was not "reasonable," according to the lawsuit.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly


My Voice Nation Help
12 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
AlvinPiterson
AlvinPiterson

Moments to make lewd comments and touched her inappropriately. It sent to the head of the school of a series of e-mail stating that Smith had "seemed to her buttocks.

Counselor Online

SLK
SLK

Let's at least hear from the other side before we condemn and hang the guy. Jeez, is this America 2011 or the wild wild west. or worse, like the south, hang 'em first. or, like in the Salem Witch Trials, let's burn them: if they die they are innocent, if they survive, they're guilty.

baffled
baffled

Can you think of ONE possible explanation that would excuse that behavior?

Luke
Luke

What's wrong with a little "love slap" on the butt?

Thirdeye
Thirdeye

Huyett sounds like he has a great future as a Catholic bishop.

drivedude
drivedude

FWIW, it's easy enough to find the counselor's phone numbers on the internet. Only took me about 5 minutes.

couplewords
couplewords

I'm surprised Superintendent William Huyett could express himself with that red ball stuffed in his mouth and his hands handcuffed to his knees -- but I'm sure he's used to that.

joe
joe

Doesn't surpirse me. BHS has some weird people there.

One question, Lilah claims the school would not transfer her. Where would she transfer to? There are only 2 high schools in Berkeley and one of them is the remedial one.

Tambourineman2
Tambourineman2

They're talking about transferring or dismissal of the teacher. That's why the collective bargaining is a factor. It's not that hard.

Now Trending

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...