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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Law firm that represented three students in Lamar schools sexual assault controversary speaks out

On August 12, 2022, the Lamar School District handed down its final appeals decision regarding its investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, of three Lamar Middle School students.

The District previously determined that several students were responsible for Title IX sexual harassment and sexual assault. The District upheld a ten-day suspension for two of the students and modified the recommended ten-day suspension to no suspension for the other perpetrator.

One of the sexual assaults involved several boys cornering another student in the boy’s locker room and forcefully putting his finger in the student’s rectum.

You can read the Official Statement issued by the Lamar School District on August 12 by clicking this link:

8-12-2022 Official Statement
Download PDF • 125KB

Attorney Joey McCutchen who represented one of the families involved in the incident, said on Thursday the statement did not come close to giving full disclosure in the inicident and subsequent finding in the investigation.

"Before the 'finger in the buttocks' assault on March 8, 2022, at least two other students were sexually harassed and assaulted in the seventh=grade locker room", said McCutchen. "Notice was given to coaches."

You can read those notifications by clicking here:

Affidavits _Redacted
Download PDF • 3.48MB

An audio clip of the incident exists and the perpetrators can be heard yelling things such as “grab his penis,” “I swear I’m about to piss in your throat” and “I was raping […] when you walked in.”

You can read a transcript of that audio recording by clicking here:

Audio Transcript (002)highlighted (1)
Download PDF • 542KB

Also attached is a copy of the Title IX investigative Report with all the interviews conducted. In addition to the objective evidence in the audio clip, the youngster who was sexually assaulted told the investigator “…… put his finger in his buttocks.”

Title IX Investigative Report_Redacted (1)
Download PDF • 4.08MB

The Lamar School District’s decision was apparently based in part on the findings of an investigation conducted by the Crimes Against Children Division of the Arkansas State police which found that all reports of sexual abuse were unsubstantiated.

You can read that document by clicking here:

Decisions of Appeal_Redacted
Download PDF • 13.79MB

The “CACD” decision gave no basis for their “unsubstantiated” decision. Only one of the “unsubstantiated” decisions are in writing. Once again you can read that document by clicking here:

4th Notice of Appeal _Redacted (1)
Download PDF • 1.04MB

"Despite the District’s reliance on the CACD report findings, it did not provide any details about why each of the complaints of sexual assault were deemed unsubstantiated," said MMcCutchen. "The Lamar school District Superintendent, Jay Holland, did find two of the perpetrators responsible for sexual harassment."

"Based upon the objective evidence it is inexplicable how Superintendent Holland overturned the decision makers determinations of responsibility for sexual assault," said McCutchen.

“Every parent of every school-aged student should be terrified that a student can have a finger forcefully inserted into their buttocks by another student on school grounds, and the perpetrator gets off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist—a ten day suspension or vacation from school, removal of participation from any extra-curricular activities and a no contact order.” McCutchen added, “Every parent should be horrified to learn that forcefully penetrating another student with a finger is not a sexual abuse or sexual assault under current Arkansas law unless there is sexual gratification."

“ It is the job of school districts and the Arkansas State Police to protect our children. We do not believe Lamar students, with the exception of the perpetrators, have been protected in the entire process,{ said McCutchen. "Parents of the victims are not content with school officials and the Arkansas State Police stating this matter has concluded. Parents of the victims intend to pursue this matter to the legislature and governor if necessary.”

McCutchen, Chip Sexton, and Stephen Napurano represent the three students who were sexually harassed and sexually assaulted.

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