Skiatook officials file federal complaint against former school officials

Saturday, December 15th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Skiatook school officials have filed a complaint in federal court against a former high school principal and one of his assistants who they say had knowledge of a videotape taken of students by a teacher but didn't take appropriate action.

In the filing on Friday, the school district accused Steve Moyer and Garry Ferguson of having ``had actual knowledge of the sexual harassment committed by Harry Red Eagle Jr.'' but failed to investigate or take remedial action to protect the constitutional rights of a group of female Skiatook students.

Three federal lawsuits currently are pending in U.S. District Court in Tulsa filed by 10 plaintiffs who claim they were videotaped by Red Eagle Jr. without their consent while they were Skiatook students from 1997 to 2000.

The federal cases have been consolidated by the court, naming Skiatook Public Schools and Red Eagle Jr. as co-defendants.

But the school district, located northwest of Tulsa, has filed a cross-claim against Red Eagle Jr. asking for financial compensation if the plaintiffs prevail. The district also wants financial compensation if it is determined that the former teacher was acting outside the scope of his employment during the videotaping episode.

The filing seeks similar potential indemnification against Moyer and Ferguson for any of the claims that pertain to their alleged failure to investigate despite school board policy.

Moyer and Ferguson have previously said that they believed immediately notifying the administration about the tapes would have been futile, mostly because Red Eagle Jr.'s father was superintendent at the time.