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Fifth former student files lawsuit against Concordia Preparatory School alleging assault complaints were ignored

A fifth former Concordia Preparatory School student has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the Towson private school ignored her reports of sexual assault and harassment.

The family of a Baltimore City student, who was a minor at the time of the allegations, filed a complaint Thursday in U.S. District Court claiming that Concordia administrators failed to investigate her reports of male student-athletes sexually assaulting and harassing her on campus and on social media. The suit states Concordia officials discriminated and retaliated against the girl after her mother asked school leaders to intervene.

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A representative of the school declined to comment on the pending litigation.

In a statement, Concordia officials said the school has a zero-tolerance policy for violations of its code of conduct and bullying and harassment policy. School officials hold a “thorough investigation and take appropriate action based on the results” when an alleged violation is brought to their attention, according to the statement.

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This is the fifth lawsuit filed against Concordia in recent months, three of which also named the Lutheran Church as a defendant. Concordia is formerly known as Baltimore Lutheran School and is affiliated with the church

All of the complaints describe a culture of sexual assault and harassment at the school that allegedly went ignored by administrators. This week’s complaint goes on to state that Concordia headmaster Brent Johnson had knowledge of more than 24 female students who were sexually harassed, sexually assaulted or cyberbullied from 2016 to 2021, often more than once.

Plaintiffs in all five suits are represented by the law firm Ketterer, Browne & Anderson. The Sun typically does not identify victims of sexual assault.

According to the complaint filed Thursday, the harassment and assaults began for the former student in 2016 when she was in sixth grade and spanned several years.

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In several incidents detailed in the lawsuit, a male student-athlete assaulted the girl, striking her in the back and punching her in her windpipe. It says the girl’s mother reached out to the school’s principal about the assaults, but no action was taken. Administrators and teachers began to retaliate against her by issuing infractions for policy violations with increasing frequency that semester, according to the complaint.

The complaint says in 2017, another boy threatened physical and sexual violence against the girl using her friends’ social media accounts. The girl’s mother shared screenshots of the messages with the middle school principal and asked for a meeting, but no action was taken. A week later, the boy and his friends followed the girl from her locker after school, threatening to “beat her up” and using threatening language about her race, appearance and body.

The girl later transferred to another school and has undergone mental health treatment. She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

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