The issue of sexual assaults against some of our most vulnerable citizens — children — has been elevated locally by the move of a victim's locally filed lawsuit to federal court.
The lawsuit, filed by the parents of a Hammond middle-school student, alleges their son was sexually assaulted while in the locker room at George Rogers Clark High School.
The assault reportedly occurred while the boy was preparing for soccer practice in the high school locker room in February 2016. High school and middle school soccer players practice together at Clark, according to the lawsuit.
The suit alleges coaches failed to supervise some of the high school players, who ultimately sexually assaulted the victim.
Even more disturbing are allegations from the attorney in the case that similar abuse had taken place before at the school.
Regardless of what happens with this particular lawsuit or how the facts fall, it's a stark reminder of the need for schools to be mindful of any mistreatment of students, including hazing, bullying and any form of assault.
Hazing rituals within schools can and do escalate out of control. Our society has seen far too many instances of children suffering emotional scars, injury or worse.
Hammond attorney Alex Mendoza, who is representing the victim's family in the Clark lawsuit, is right in his contention that parents should be able to send their children to school without fear of such harm.
There is zero room for turning the other cheek — for adults missing, through negligence or deliberate omission, such things befalling students in any school or other facility.
The Clark lawsuit is a reminder that diligence is of the utmost importance in protecting our children.