A D.C. special education student said she was impregnated by her teacher and that school officials were aware of the sexual relationship but did nothing to stop it, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.
Ayanna Blue, who is now a 20-year-old mother, said that she began having sex with Robert Weismiller, 58, when she was an 18-year-old at the Transition Academy at Shadd, the lawsuit said. The school is for students who have been identified as “emotionally disturbed.”
Blue had the baby, a girl born Nov. 28, 2009, and paternity tests taken by Weismiller indicate that there is a “99.99%” probability Weismiller is the baby's father, the lawsuit states. Weismiller agreed to the test as part of a paternity suit and the test results came back last week, said Blue's attorney Scott Gilbert.
Gilbert said it was premature to say how much his client will seek, but she needs money to take care of her child and to cope with what she's been through.
“Shes doing the best she can do under the circumstances, which are terrible circumstances,” Gilbert said. “She's concerned about what will happen to her and what will happen to her baby.” The mother is still a student in the city's special education system.
Last fall, D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee singled out the instructor — not by name — as an example of the kind of teachers that she was getting rid of during a mass firing last year. She told a magazine that many layoffs involved teachers who were having sex with students, but later amended her statement to say that only one employee, a teacher at Shadd, was fired for having sex with a student.
On Thursday, Rhee's office referred inquiries to D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles.
“There has been an effort to publicize this lawsuit, but I have trouble trying a lawsuit in the press,” said Nickles. “We'll respond at the appropriate time.”
Blue said she and her teacher's relationship lasted about 5 months, and that they had sex in Weismiller's classroom, in his car and in her house. He continues to call her cell phone, the suit states.
Weismiller could not be reached for comment.
According to the lawsuit, D.C. Public Schools officials began an investigation in May 2009 after learning that Blue had become pregnant. Several teachers and aides reported to investigators that they saw Blue and Weismiller alone in his classroom on multiple occasions, sometimes with the lights off, the lawsuit states.
In December 2008, Blue told school personnel that she believed she was pregnant, but when the health office administered a pregnancy test, it came back negative, the lawsuit said.
The school investigation concluded that it could not find evidence of any grave misconduct by Weismiller that would warrant his firing.
Blue was unable to complete the 12th grade because she had to take time off for the birth of her daughter, the lawsuit said.
She said she is not financially able to take care of her child and she fears becoming homeless.