Four years after an assistant principal and a teacher’s aide conspired to use a 14-year-old special needs student as bait to catch another supposedly sexually violent special needs student, the case is being reevaluated. But instead, the ploy failed, and the 14-year-old girl was raped in the bathroom of Sparkman Middle School in Huntsville, Ala., and not one person was fired.

In fact, the assistant principal, Jeanne Dunaway, was promoted to principal at a nearby school district while the case against the administrators, filed by the young girl’s father, was thrown out by the Northern District of Alabama Court. But now, the Justice Department has finally followed up and filed a brief with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, stating that the District Court made the wrong decision. After a panel hearing, the appeals court will determine if the case should move forward, and although the school board refused to comment on the details of the case, it’s apparent they’re not worried. They released a statement saying, "The attorneys for the Board of Education and school officials are confident that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule in favor of the board and the administrators.”

It’s shocking to hear how school administrators intentionally placed a child in harm’s way, especially considering that it has nothing to do with providing a public education to students. It all started when the teacher’s aide June Simpson, went to Dunaway’s office with her idea to use the girl as bait to catch the acts of the 16-year-old boy who committed the rape. The boy had been sexually harassing girls for weeks, and principal Ronnie Blair said the only way the boy could be disciplined was to be caught in the act, which is why Dunaway sent the girl to meet the boy in the sixth-grade boy’s bathroom.

"It's a sad situation," Blair said in 2010. "At the same time, I feel very comfortable with the way the situation was handled. That's about all I can say."

The girl complied with the plan, met the boy and was forcibly sodomized without any teacher or administrative intervention. Simpson failed to follow the girl into the bathroom to catch him harassing the girl. When Dunaway testified originally, she said that the girl “was responsible for herself once she entered the bathroom.”

The girl has since left the school district and moved out of state. The assault case was listed as “inappropriate touching” in the boy’s file, and the federal attorneys involved in the case said that when the assistant principal saw photos of the injuries, she contended they couldn’t tell if the sex was non-consensual. The National Women’s Law Center filed a brief following the Justice Department’s in support of the 14-year-old victim.