SKIATOOK school students sue former coach, school district over videotapes

Thursday, May 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Attorneys for seven Skiatook girls who allege they were secretly videotaped by a former coach have filed lawsuits against him and the school district.

The civil lawsuit filed Wednesday in Tulsa County District Court seeks an unspecified amount of compensatory damages from Harry Red Eagle Jr. and Skiatook Public Schools. Each plaintiff is identified as a student at Skiatook schools during the 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000 school years.

Red Eagle Jr. was a teacher and coach who allegedly made videotapes of students in a girls' locker room. He resigned after the existence of the tapes was revealed, and he faces criminal charges in Osage County.

The lawsuit seeks punitive damages from Red Eagle Jr. alone and alleges that the students were videotaped and watched when they ``had a reasonable expectation of privacy from members of the opposite sex.''

The school district did not investigate or take remedial action although school officials knew of the alleged conduct, the lawsuit alleges. Among the officials are Harry Red Eagle Sr., Red Eagle's father.

Skiatook schools negligently provided Red Eagle Jr. ``with an office in a locker room where female students, including the plaintiffs, changed clothes and used the whirlpool bath,'' the lawsuit alleges.

In addition, the district discriminated against the students based on their gender and ``created an intimidating, hostile, offensive and abusive school environment'' by failing to investigate or discipline Red Eagle Jr., the lawsuit alleged.

Parents of three of the students had filed a federal lawsuit, but dropped it in January.