The parents of a teenage girl have filed a federal lawsuit against the Millard Public Schools, alleging officials did nothing to prevent or stop an assistant principal from sexually abusing their daughter.
The family says administrators were indifferent to former administrator Matthew Fedde’s “pattern of inappropriate behaviors,” should have known that sexual abuse was occurring and should have taken steps to confront it.
Fedde was the 10th-grade assistant principal at Millard South High School when he was arrested in December 2017 on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault of a child. The parents of the 15-year-old girl called the Boys Town crisis hotline after they found her journal describing sex with a teacher.
Fedde then received a report about the matter and immediately told the girl to delete all the texts they had exchanged.
In December 2018, Fedde was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison on two amended counts of attempted first-degree sexual assault of a child. The sentences will run at the same time, meaning Fedde could be released on parole after nine years and must be discharged from prison after 12 years.
In the lawsuit, the girl’s parents named current Millard South Principal Heidi Weaver and three then-assistant principals — one is still at the school, one has retired and another has changed positions within the district.
Rebecca Kleeman, a Millard district spokeswoman, said district officials have not yet seen the lawsuit.
“We cannot comment on pending or ongoing litigation,” she said.
Fedde and the girl met in the fall of 2017, officials have said. The two communicated through text messages and various social media apps, prosecutors said, until the interactions became physical in November 2017.
Prosecutors said the two had sex on school grounds at least twice. The lawsuit alleges sex occurred several times in a school stairwell that is not monitored by cameras, another time in Fedde’s office and one night during a high school orchestra concert, in addition to one time off school grounds.
The parents allege that the administrators named in the lawsuit and other teachers and employees had overheard students talking about Fedde and the girl and observed inappropriate behavior from the girl.
Michelle Klug, who later served as the 10th-grade assistant principal, told law enforcement that she saw the girl in Fedde’s office about 4:15 p.m. on Nov. 10, 2017, which was seven days after the suit alleges Fedde had sex with the girl in his office. Klug said she was uncomfortable because “it was ‘weird’ and that her ‘mom instincts’ had been triggered,” the suit says.
Klug, who is now the principal at Millard Central Middle School, told two other assistant principals about the incident. The parents allege, however, that they “did nothing to intervene and failed to report the inappropriate behavior to any other administrator in an attempt to stop the inappropriate relationship.”
Klug told Fedde he “should be careful” having the girl in his office because “girls like that can make accusations that can get people into trouble.” Klug later told police that Fedde “blew her off.”
No administrator contacted the girl’s parents or law enforcement to warn them of the suspicious behavior, the suit alleges.
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages from the district because the girl has suffered “severe psychological and emotional injuries and distress.”