A federal judge yesterday gave the go-ahead to a civil rights lawsuit against the Philadelphia School District over its culpability in a sexual attack on a special education student in a middle school.

Judge Anita Brody, in a 16-page memorandum, ruled that the school district must face civil charges that the student’s civil rights were violated when the substitute teacher in the class failed to protect her after the attackers had assaulted another student in the classroom earlier that day.

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