Omaha district weighs $650K for family of molested student
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Omaha Public Schools board will meet Monday night to consider paying a $650,000 settlement to the family of a young student who was molested by a former elementary school teacher.
Attorneys for the family and officials for the school district arrived at the amount, which the board will consider at its regular meeting Monday, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
The settlement would be paid by the district’s insurance carrier. It deals with just one of three claims filed so far in the case of Gregory Sedlacek, a former teacher at Fontenelle Elementary School who is serving decades in prison for molesting six students.
Sedlacek was arrested in November 2018 after teachers saw him with his hand up the dress of a first-grade student on the playground. Police interviews led authorities to conclude he had molested at least six students, ages 6 and 7, in classrooms and on the playground at the school.
The claims filed against the district say school officials failed to properly vet Sedlacek before hiring him in 2016. Sedlacek was earlier fired from a school district on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota for excessively hugging and tickling students. He was later dismissed from a seminary after church officials learned of the South Dakota firing.
The claims say the district failed to train staff to spot Sedlacek’s grooming behavior and that its policies on reporting abuse did not conform with state law.
Eric Nelson resigned as Fontenelle’s principal and this year pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of failure to report child abuse. He was sentenced in April to two weeks in jail and a year of probation.
Prosecutors said Nelson failed to report Sedlacek to authorities, even after seeing photos of him sexually assaulting a student.