Parent files lawsuit claiming Gilroy Unified failed to fire teacher over inappropriate texts

GILROY, Calif. (KGO) -- A parent is suing the Gilroy School District for not firing a teacher who allegedly sent out sexually explicit text messages. The teacher was arrested last week, but police say texting began nearly two years ago.

The lawsuit accuses the school district of negligence and inflicting emotional distress on the unnamed daughter of Celest Benn, who was a student at Gilroy High School. She allegedly received a series of sexually explicit texts from advanced placement chemistry teacher Douglas Le in October of 2014.

The mother says she contacted school administrators the next day but they initially would not meet with her.

"The district failed to take any meaningful action in response to the complaint," said the Gloria Allred, who is representing the family. "Instead, Mr. Le was allowed to continue teaching and continued to sexually harass a minor child until she finally had to change schools."

In a written statement, the school district said the behavior was unprofessional and unacceptable, but there was no criminal activity and did not require dismissal. It did issue a notice of unprofessional conduct. However, there was no indication of catfishing, and there were no further complaints.

Catfishing is a term used to describe a man posing a woman who tries to engage with underage boys on line.

Le was arrested last week by San Jose police and charged with two felony counts of child enticement. It's believed there could be many other victims.

"They protected an individual who admittedly engaged in gross sexual misconduct, and because they failed to take meaningful actions, many more children were harmed," said Benn.

Allred, as well as a teacher at the school, told us the law requires educators to report inappropriate behavior to police immediately for investigation.
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