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District Apologizes For Abuse Case Legal Wording

Moraga School District says it is sorry for 'any anxiety or distress' from basing a possible defense in Cunnane sex abuse case on negligence by the victim.

District Apologizes For Abuse Case Legal Wording

The Moraga School District has said it is sorry.

In the wake of outrage over wording of a legal brief, the district's leadership issued a news release apologizing to Kristen Cunnane that the district's legal papers indicated that one possible defense to the lawsuit by the former student was that she had some responsibility for the sexual abuse she suffered from teachers at Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School in the 1990s.

Cunnane, now 30 and living in Walnut Creek, has sued the district and three former administrators for negligence and fraudulent concealment, alleging that administrators ignored evidence of sexual abuse.

After a Wednesday morning meeting of the Governing Board, the district issued a news release: "The Governing Board has directed its attorney to withdraw the defense of comparative fault and any assertion of carelessness or negligence on the part of Ms. Cunnane. The Governing Board and its attorneys, Stubbs and Leone, apologize to Ms. Cunnane for any anxiety or distress caused by the inclusion of this defense in its response to her pleading."

When the language of the district's legal papers was aired in the media last week, that the District would blame me for the years of horrific sexual abuse I was subjected to when I was just a child. There is a critical need for a culture shift in Moraga and elsewhere when it comes to tolerance of child abuse in schools, and this just underscores that we have further to go than I even thought."

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