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Lawsuit filed against Harrisonville School District, former coach over alleged sexual misconduct with student

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — A civil lawsuit filed this month in Cass County Circuit Court alleges that the Harrisonville School District failed to protect a student who was involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a staff member, who happened to be the Superintendent’s son.

The Harrisonville School District, former Superintendent Frank Dahman and former coach Joe Dahman, along with others are named in the lawsuit filed on behalf of a minor child, identified only as Jane Doe.

A picture from the Harrisonville School’s Facebook page of Joe Dahman when he was hired in August of 2015.

The lawsuit alleges that Joe Dahman and the student began a sexual relationship during the 2016-2017 school year, when she was 14- years- old.  The alleged relationship began with flirting, talking, texting and corresponding over social media and quickly turned sexual.

The relationship included transmitting sexually explicit messages and videos, engaging in sexual contact and taking illegal substances, according to court documents.

The alleged sexual contact and illegal substance use occurred in Superintendent Frank Dahman’s home and on school grounds in Joe Dahman’s vehicle.

According to the lawsuit, the student told several staff members that Joe Dahman was her “best friend.” Some staff members became suspicious of the relationship, but failed to report it.

In August 2017, the teen’s phone was checked by administrators. She told them about the relationship, police were called and Joe Dahman was placed on leave.  He resigned from the school in September.

Frank Dahman, superintendent of Harrisonville School District

The suit alleges that the student suffered bullying and harassment after a teacher announced to students that she and Dahman were in an inappropriate relationship.

The student eventually left Harrisonville High School and attended classes online.

Frank Dahman was placed on leave by the school board in March 2018. He retired from the school district the same year.

When asked for a response, the district said that they cannot comment due to this being a personnel and legal matter.

No criminal charges have been filed in the case.

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