A child at Hawthorne Elementary School was repeatedly sexually assaulted by other students close to the victim’s age, one of the victim’s parents said.
The parent spoke on the condition of anonymity, and their name is being withheld to protect the identities of all the children involved.
The ages of the children involved are also being withheld so they cannot be easily identified, but all the children are the same grade and the parent said the alleged abuse happened in a classroom setting.
“[Stephanie Keuhey, HES principal] called me and told me that [the victim] had [one of the perpetrator’s] hands down [their] pants, while they were sitting on carpet in class” the parent said.
The call was made on Nov. 5, the parent said.
According to the victim, the assaults had taken place every day since the start of school, the parent said, although the parent also noted children the victim’s age often exaggerate.
“[The victim] didn’t realize the severity of it until I started crying while I was talking to [the victim],” the parent said.
After discovering the assault, the parent said they filed a report with the Mineral County Sheriff’s Department. Sean Rowe, Mineral County District Attorney, declined to comment on the matter, or whether such a report had been filed.
The parent also couldn’t provide a copy of the police report, saying they were told the report was unavailable during an investigation. The parent said the Sheriff’s Department has interviewed the victim and has offered counseling.
The parent added the victim no longer attends class at HES.
The parent came forward because there hasn’t been any parental or teacher notification.
“I just think the parents should know,” the parent said. “I think the teachers should know.”
“It’s ridiculous there has been no letters to the parents of the children in [the victim’s grade], there has been no notification to teachers. It’s like, why aren’t you making us more aware so there can be more eyes?”
The allegations raise concerns about the safety of students at the school.
“It’s not safe. Not at all,” the parent said. “Not if they’re not going to do anything about it. I mean, suspension is not a cure. I don’t think it’s safe at all.”
A visibly shaken Keuhey said the school is taking “several” measures to ensure incidents like those alleged don’t happen at the school, but couldn’t be specific about what those measures are. Keuhey also couldn’t confirm or deny if the incident the source alleged happened.
“The only thing I can tell you is that student safety and school safety [are] our number one priority,” she said. “Any issues that are brought to our attention are dealt with immediately.
“We deal with all reports as soon as we receive them,” Keuhey continued. “We ensure student safety immediately, and we regularly take precautions to make sure that we do everything we can to address issues immediately, and to ensure students safety.”