Francis Parker School

Former Francis Parker Student Sues School, Claims She Was Groomed by Ex-Teacher

A former Francis Parker School student has filed a lawsuit alleging she was groomed by an ex-teacher, joining another ex-student who went public with similar claims against the private school in Linda Vista.

The student, identified only as C.D. in the lawsuit filed earlier this month, alleges Miguel Cembrano, a teacher's assistant in her history class, engaged in inappropriate behavior with her. She claims he regularly discussed sexual topics with her and eventually convinced her to send him a topless photo of herself when she was 14 years old.

Cembrano was also a basketball coach and history teacher for former student Grace Winn, who sued the school last month and alleged Cembrano groomed her in a similar fashion.

In March of 2015, Cembrano was fired by the school because he "had engaged in inappropriate conduct with a student," according to the lawsuit. He later worked at High Tech High in Point Loma, where the girls' attorneys allege he sexually abused a student, then committed suicide before that alleged assault could be fully investigated.

Both students claim Cembrano displayed inappropriate and overly familiar behavior with students, which they say school administrators should have recognized and stopped.

However, C.D.'s filing alleges that the school has fostered a culture in which school officials "repeatedly turned a blind eye to incidents of sexual misconduct."

The latest suit alleges that Dan Lang, then the head of the middle school, groomed and sexually abused an unnamed student in 2013, who has since died.

C.D.'s lawsuit also alleges that when Cembrano applied for a full-time teaching position during the 2013-14 school year, two teachers warned Lang that Cembrano should not receive the job due to his "habit of texting with young female students, which they believed was inappropriate."

The suit alleges that school administrators did not notify the police or Child Protective Services about any of the abuse allegations as required by law for mandated reporters.

Susan Lester, chair of the school's Board of Trustees, said in a statement that the allegations "are completely inaccurate and will be responded to as part of the legal process."

Specifically regarding the allegations against Lang, currently the school's assistant head of school for JK-12 Strategic Initiatives, Lester said Francis Parker "is compelled to share its outrage at the false, salacious and cruel attack" and said that the claims referenced against him "were, in fact, previously reported to the appropriate authorities, independently and thoroughly investigated and debunked. Parker stands by Mr. Lang and intends to aggressively defend Mr. Lang and the school against the baseless allegations."

Lester further asked that members of the Francis Parker community "reserve judgment until all the facts can come to light."

Contact Us