MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. -- (WZTV) -- Family members filed a lawsuit on behalf of a teen girl, claiming Maury County Schools knew about a teacher's predatory behavior leading up to his disappearance with the 15-year-old student, prompting a nationwide manhunt last spring.
Family members filed the lawsuit against the Maury County Board of Education and Tad Cummins on Jan. 19.
Cummins is a former Maury County teacher who left Columbia, Tennessee on March 13, and is accused of taking a 15-year-old girl across the country. Cummins was captured in a rural part of northern California and the victim was found safely.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the teen girl identified as 'Jane Doe' in the suit, argues Culleoka Unit School failed to protect students from a predator and allowed conditions to exist which enabled the teacher's controlling, manipulative relationship with the teen student.
The family said school staff and district administrators failed to take action when teachers and students became apparent of Cummins' growing relationship with the student.
The lawsuit also details an incident where a student caught Cummins kissing the Jane Doe in his classroom, and school officials did not inform the teen's parents or law enforcement. Once the school began investigating the teacher's relationship with the teen, the lawsuit says no one from the school or district attempted to remove Jane Doe from Cummins' class until several days later.
It also claims once Cummins was finally suspended, he convinced the teen student to become his 'de facto wife' and join him of a 39-day, cross country trip before they were caught by law enforcement.