A former student of a Palm Springs High School teacher convicted of numerous child molestation charges is suing him, along with the ex-principal of the campus and the school district, for allegedly ignoring reports of the educator’s conduct two years prior to his arrest.
Palm Springs Unified School District spokeswoman Joan Boiko said the district could not comment on pending litigation.
The suit filed last week on behalf of John Doe names his former English teacher, Ronald Steven Bishop, then-Palm Springs High School principal Ricky Wright and the PSUSD as defendants.
The suit alleges that the school and district were negligent in hiring and retaining Bishop, who sent sexually explicit text and social media messages to Doe and molested other minors, including one of his other students.
Doe, who was 15 years old at the time he was in Bishop’s class, alleges that about two years before Bishop began messaging him, a former student who had already graduated from Palm Springs High told Wright and two campus security officers that Bishop had tried to begin a sexual relationship with him. His lawsuit alleges that administrators with the school and district did not investigate the claims.
“Thousands” of sexually explicit messages that Bishop sent to Doe were later uncovered by police after Doe revealed Bishop’s behavior to the Palm Springs Police Department in January 2013, the suit says. Those were in addition to videos that prosecutors said police found of Bishop molesting another student in exchange for a passing grade in his class.
Bishop was convicted last year of more than 40 felony counts, including sodomy of an unconscious victim and lewd acts with a minor, and was sentenced to 44 years in state prison last August. Doe testified in Bishop’s trial, according to the suit.
–City News Service