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Jury finds Coronado Unified negligent in hiring coach who admitted to sex with a student

A San Diego jury delivered a multi-million dollar verdict Monday against the Coronado Unified School District.

The jury said the district was negligent in hiring a coach who admitted to having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old player.

The parents of the female player, known as Jane Doe to protect her identity, supported her civil lawsuit, which claimed the district was negligent in hiring and not properly supervising Jordan Tyler Bucklew, an assistant girls' basketball coach at Coronado High School in January 2020.


That’s when some players on the team reported to a teacher that Bucklew was involved in a sexual relationship with their teammate.

Bucklew was arrested and later pled guilty to a felony count of unlawful sex with a minor. He was fired and received three years probation. He was not required to register as a sex offender unless he violated probation. He completed the probation and then moved out of state.

KPBS spoke with Jane Doe’s father, who did not want to be identified in any way. “This wasn’t her fault. She was groomed and manipulated. She was not protected by a system we all are supposed to trust, and that is the school," he said.

He said the family wanted the district held accountable.

The jury awarded the victim $5 million in damages.

“This wasn’t her fault. She was groomed and manipulated. She was not protected by a system we all are supposed to trust, and that is the school."
Jane Doe's father

In a written statement to KPBS, Maria Simon, public information officer for Coronado Unified said, "Coronado Unified School District values every child in our care. The safety and well-being of students is our top priority. CUSD leadership and legal counsel are currently considering post-trial options and as such decline to provide further comment about the verdict at this time."

"The jury’s $5 million dollar judgment is highly unusual," said Randall Winet, the district’s lead attorney. "They got it wrong (by) holding the district responsible instead of the perpetrator Jordan Tyler Bucklew."

“(Coronado Unified) dragged my daughter and our entire family through the mud trying to push this under the carpet or get out of any kind of accountability associated with the sexual assault of my daughter by a Coronado High School coach," said the girl's father.

The Coronado school board will meet in private session on Thursday to discuss what they will do next.

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