Lawsuit alleges Talawanda didn’t keep girl safe from sexual assault

A former Talawanda Middle School student who says she was assaulted by a teacher has filed a lawsuit alleging the Talawanda Board of Education did not ensure her safety in class.

The lawsuit, filed on April 12 by the Cincinnati law firm of Freking Myers & Reul in partnership with D.C.-based L.L. Dunn Law Firm, is in addition to the suit filed last year by the victim’s family against the former teacher, Paul Stiver. 

According to the lawsuit, the assault occurred Dec. 1, 2021 when Stiver was leading a classroom activity and came behind the 12-year-old student, putting his hand on her shoulder and back before sliding it down to grope her chest. A student in the classroom witnessed this, according to a press release from attorneys for the plaintiffs.  

A Title IX investigation conducted by the Talawanda School District not only substantiated this sexual assault but found a history of sexual harassment and assaults committed by Stiver against students as far back as the 2016-2017 school year,” the attorneys wrote.

The attorneys fault the school district for allowing sexual assault and harassment to take place and for not disciplining Stiver.

Stiver resigned from the district July 7, 2022.

The school district’s director of communication, Holli Hansel, said the district has a policy not to comment on unresolved legal matters.