In a lawsuit there is often the expectation that money will be awarded. Rare is the suit that is only brought to facilitate change. Here, we do not have detail. We do not know how much (if any) money is sought by the parents. This can speak to motive which, if the parents make statements, can be revealed through analysis. One parent may sue to pay for the therapy the victimized child may go through to deal with trauma; while another seeks punitive action against the school, while yet another sees a golden retirement. There is compensation, for example, for loss of income on one hand, and there is the spirit of larceny on the other: seeking money one's own hands have not earned; and there is everything in the middle.
We have few quotes to work with, yet even here, we have information to go with.
Indiana boy suffered 'horrific sexual abuse' from classmates, lawsuit alleges
INDIANAPOLIS – The parents of a central Indiana boy claim their son was subjected to "horrific sexual abuse" by three second-grade classmates at a school run by Ball State University.
The lawsuit filed last week alleges the students' teacher and officials at Burris Laboratory School in Muncie failed to act to halt the alleged abuse. It also contends the four 8-year-old boys had "unfettered access" to pornographic videos they downloaded on school computers and iPads.
The more detail within a lawsuit, the more there is at stake. The choice of words "unfettered access" is different than alleging that four 8 year old boys had "access" to pornographic videos downloaded (more than just viewed, but downloaded).
Is it wise to use the word "unfettered"? Will this then become what is argued over: the difference between the ability to access pornography and "unfettered" ability to access?
Next, note the school's response. We would like to know:
Q. Did four 8 year olds have access to pornography? This is bad enough, and if so, what, if any, action was taken?
Q. Did four 8 year olds have "unfettered" access to pornography? This suggests ongoing, continual access, without restraint.
To "fetter" would be to have some restraints in place:
Q. Did the school have an anti-pornography software installed as most businesses and schools seem to, today?
Q. If not, how often was pornography accessed to bring it to the level of "unfettered" access? This one single word may end up costing the attorney who wrote it in the suit. It may change the argument in court from access to pornography, including a child being able to circumvent any restrictions, to having unlimited access.
Did the attorney who filed the suit really want to make this the argument? Regardless of intent, he did by using a word that may be intended to persuade and inflame rather than report. It also will impact the school's response:
Ball State spokesman Tony Proudfoot says the school will "vigorously defend these unwarranted allegations."
Please note that the spokesman calls the allegations "unwarranted" but not untrue or false.
He says Ball State learned in December 2011 of alleged inappropriate behavior among four second-graders at the school. Proudfoot says the suit's allegations "bear no resemblance to the evidence" in the case
This is another interesting statement. He does not say the evidence disproves, or does not match, or that the evidences proves otherwise, instead he uses the negative to describe:
"bears no resemblance."
It may not resemble the allegation, but this tells us that there is something that must be uncovered.
Something exists, but it just doesn't "bear" resemblance to the allegations. This tells us that there is something to compare.
I think, from just these few words, that something nefarious did take place in the classroom.
It may not be what is alleged, and it may be that the parents are seeking to retire on the tax payer's dime, and the suit thrown out, but...
The language tells me that this did not arise from a vacuum.