When parents send their children off to school, many do not worry about their safety as they honestly believe the school administration and teachers are going to be doing everything in their power to keep their children safe. At the very least, if there were an incident where a child was injured, the belief is this would be reported to the parents and appropriate action would be taken as needed.
However, as one distraught family in Pinellas Park, Florida, is learning, this is not always the case.
According to the family, their 15-year-old daughter was sexually attacked in school and the school’s administrators did nothing to stop the attack. The school also failed to report the incident to the parents. It was not until the 15-year-old told her parents that action was taken.
By action, the parents have hired attorney TJ Grimaldi. Their hope is that by taking action and telling their story, other children will not have to go through what their daughter did.
According to the family, it was on the morning of April 22. The 15-year-old was at her school getting ready to take the FCAT. She was sitting in the front of the class with roughly 30 other students getting ready to take the test. This was when a boy in the class tried to touch her bra strap before putting his hand down her pants.
The 15-year-old said she told him to stop and threw his hand out of her pants. Again, she told him very loudly to stop. However, the claim is the administrator in the room did nothing about the situation.
The 15-year-old ended up telling a friend about what happened. This friend told another teacher. The 15-year-old also reported what happened to her parents.
Now the family wants answers, which is why they hired an attorney. They want to know why the school did not notify them of the attack.
Grimaldi said he wants immediate action to make sure the teen feels comfortable and safe. He thinks relocation may be the best. Additionally, Grimaldi and the parents want to see the school held responsible for not reporting the alleged attack.
In reading about this case it is normal for any parent with a child to become nervous. As was mentioned at the beginning of this post, parents put a lot of trust in school officials. When that trust is broken, it can be hard to trust again.
Going forward, the hope is that something is done and that school officials face some sort of repercussions for not reporting the attack. For the boy accused of attacking the girl, the family’s attorney said he was suspended for 10 days, but could end up coming back to the exact same homeroom as the victim.
The case has also been referred to the State Attorney’s Office, where police are requesting battery charges be pressed against the boy.
Source: ABC Action News, “EXCLUSIVE: Family of teen demands action after they say daughter was sexually attacked during FCAT”, Sarina Fazan, July 29, 2013