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Random Notes on NJ Government

Former Vineland High student suing school district because maintenance worker allegedly hugged and kissed her and expressed his love for her.

On March 23, 2018, a former student at Vineland High School (Cumberland County) filed a lawsuit that accused the Vineland Board of Education of failing to protect her against a school maintenance worker’s alleged unwanted sexual advances.

The woman, now 20 years old, is identified in the lawsuit only by her initials “J.L.”  She claimed in her lawsuit that a maintenance worker, identified in the lawsuit only by his initials “J.C.,” grabbed her by the shoulder when she was walking through “A wing” on March 23, 2016, “pulled her close, gave her a hug, then kissed her on the cheek” and told her “you know I love you.”  J.L. further alleged that the maintenance worker followed her around school and waited for her at her locker.  She claimed that the maintenance worker’s advances started when she was 17 years old.

An Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request to the Vineland school district resulted in a response that disclosed the maintenance worker’s name.  The response also shows that the maintenance worker is still employed as a Building Maintenance Worker by the school district and earns $27,113 annually. He began working for the school district in November 2006.

J.L.’s lawsuit, like all lawsuits, consists only of allegations.  Nothing has been proven.  The burden rests on J.L. to prove her allegations before a court of law.

J.L., who also named the maintenance worker as a defendant in the lawsuit, is being represented by Alexander J. Wazeter of Turnersville.

By John Paff

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project