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Posted on Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

Ann Arbor school policy says police should have been notified of Eberwhite sexual assault claim

By Danielle Arndt

Ann Arbor Public Schools’ legal obligation to report an 8-year-old's claim that she was sexually assaulted at Eberwhite Elementary to Child Protective Services falls into a gray area, according to legal professionals.

But the district’s Code of Conduct and Consequences is clear. It says in incidents of alleged criminal sexual conduct, the building principal “must refer the incident to local and state enforcement agencies.”


A lawsuit claims a former Eberwhite Elementary School second grader was sexually assaulted twice by a classmate in a special education classroom during the last school year.

Chris Asadian | AnnArborcom

That didn't happen, according to available accounts of the incident that Eberwhite staff heard about on March 22. Police were contacted the following day by the University of Michigan, after the girl was taken to the hospital when her mother learned of the complaint.

AAPS officials would neither discuss the district's response to the assault claim nor answer questions about whether they've taken steps to correct any processes since that time. Spokeswoman Liz Margolis cited the pending litigation filed last week as the reason.

The lawsuit was filed in federal district court on behalf of the mother of the former Eberwhite pupil. It alleges a classmate assaulted her daughter twice in the bathroom of their special education classroom, once in October 2010 and again on March 22, 2011.

The classmate was charged with one count each of first-degree and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The boy was one of two students who continuously bullied the girl throughout the school year, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit said both boys were suspended from Eberwhite for two days in March, due to their special education status.

The lawsuit alleges the district failed to protect the girl from the bullying and sexual assaults, “which significantly interfered with her ability to fully utilize (Ann Arbor Public School’s) educational services.” It also states the incidents were reported only by hospital personnel, after the girl’s mother had her examined by doctors.

AAPS’ Anti-bullying and Harassment Policy defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct or other verbal or physical conduct or communication that has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s education or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive … environment on school property or at any school-sponsored or related event.”

The policy further states: “A student should report incidences of harassment to the building administrator with any supportive evidence that is available. The principal will examine the evidence and, if merited, speak directly to the person alleged to have harassed the complainant.

“If proven, the building administrator will: Have the offender sign a contract regarding appropriate behavior toward the complainant and/or refer the offender to an outside agency and/or initiate suspension or expulsion procedures.”

The policy says the disciplinary action “should be commensurate with the behavior and developmental level of the student.”

Meanwhile, AAPS' code of conduct also states Michigan Compiled Law 380.1311(2) requires anyone who commits criminal sexual conduct to be permanently expelled with possible reinstatement.

Mark Cody, legal director for Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, an organization that protects the legal rights of people with disabilities, said the theory with special education is behavioral and instructional policies are individualized.

“They are intended to be custom-made to fit the needs of the child,” he said.

He added the accepted and recommended policies for handling an alleged student-on-student sexual assault would be to convene in an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) meeting to discuss the appropriate accommodations that need to be made for both the victim and the child engaged in the assault.

This should be done in partnership with the parents, Cody said. He added MPAS becomes concerned when restraint or time-out rooms are brought up as possible to solutions to behavioral problems. He said suspensions also only exacerbate problems with special needs children.

“If you do go that route, it should be for the shortest time possible and only to reassess how best to assist the student and anyone else involved,” Cody said. “It does not solve the problem to move it out into the community. … In my opinion, that is not a responsible school district.”

He added the police being called is “pretty much a given under Michigan law.” However, whether a teacher is obligated to report alleged child-on-child abuse or neglect to Child Protective Services is a “confused area,” Cody said.

Teachers are listed as mandatory reporters under the Michigan Child Protection Law. The law requires mandatory reporters to make an immediate verbal report to CPS and a written report within 72 hours after suspecting a child has been abused or neglected. Anyone who violates that law can be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to 93 days in jail, if convicted.

Joshua Kay, a clinical assistant professor of law for the Child Advocacy Law Clinic at the University of Michigan, said he believes a strong argument could be made that the mandatory reporter law does not apply.

“You are not talking about an act by someone who is responsible for the child,” Kay said.

Department of Human Services spokesman David Akerly agreed with Kay’s assessment. He said mandated reporters do not have to call CPS to report child-on-child sexual contact, but if they did, CPS would refer the information to law enforcement.

He said the Child Protection Law would apply only if the children were, for instance, siblings and the school suspected the parents failure to provide supervision contributed to the alleged CSC.

Kay said if there were a continued situation where the teacher failed to do anything to protect the child, a CPS complaint against the teacher could be filed. He said this is a little speculative, but there is at least an argument to be made that teachers are at-school guardians and are responsible for their students' health and safety.

The Student Advocacy Center in Ypsilanti declined to discuss the lawsuit or AAPS’ actions Tuesday. Volunteers at the center met with school officials and the mother of the girl to help get the child transferred to another elementary.

Several district administrators and Board of Education members did not return phone calls from reporters Tuesday. Trustees Andy Thomas and Christine Stead declined to comment, stating they take the accusations in the lawsuit very seriously but need to learn more about the incident and how it was handled before making a statement.

The story on Monday was the first they had heard of the incidents or allegations, they said

Trustee Susan Baskett said she was contacted by “ears in the community” and made aware of the sexual assaults in spring 2011.

“At this point, the mother was having issues trying to get what she wanted (to transfer her daughter) and was in crisis mode, frustration mode,” Baskett said. “We left it as, if the mother does not get what she wants, please get back with me.”

Baskett said she did not contact administration to see if an investigation had taken place and that she did not hear back from anyone in the community again regarding the incidents, so she assumed the situation had been handled.

She said she was “following due process and allowing due process to work itself out.” When she was approached, Baskett said the family had just started working with the district to transfer, so she felt it was too early to get involved as a board member.

“How sad and how tragic that this would happen,” Baskett said. “All I can think is the family must be very hurt to go to the next step, which is suing.

"The mother is probably trying to take a preventative measure to keep it from happening again — and who can blame her.”

Staff reporter Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 4:54 a.m.

Policy says police should have been notified. Is this some independent police force or the one the works hand in hand with AAPS? When I complained to police it was handed to a policeman that works at Pioneer High School. By the way he operated he works for Pioneer High School. So, good luck with the reporting. I am happy that it went through the hospital and suggest this is the way to go to have the event taken seriously, that is, until there are serious changes made to policy, procedure and objectivity.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

"Trustees Andy Thomas and Christine Stead declined to comment, stating they take the accusations in the lawsuit very seriously but need to learn more about the incident and how it was handled before making a statement. The story on Monday was the first they had heard of the incidents or allegations, they said Trustee Susan Baskett said she was contacted by "ears in the community" and made aware of the sexual assaults in spring 2011." This incident happened 9 months ago! One board member knew, the others were not informed! Who let this happen? Was it Ms. Baskett fault? The administration? It took until the January 2012 board meeting to even address the idea that there were bullying issues in Special Education. Nine months?


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

STOP THE ASSAULT : I am sure that the Police Department could have registered a case of sexual assault and yet I am not certain if the young boy has indeed formulated the thought of sexual assault on that innocent victim. Is there a true intent to assault to obtain deviant sexual gratification? If there is such intent, how did this kid reached this stage? We need to know more about the external influences apart from the lack of supervision in that classroom. Kids behave well with or without supervision.There is a huge concern in this country about powerful psychotropic medications that are being prescribed to children of all ages. How would we give the benefit of education to such kids? There is a special risk involved if a kid is placed in a Special Education classroom. The kid gets exposed to a variety of other kids, with either the same or different kind of problem. There is a risk on account of this exposure to unknown nature of other kid's problem. The interactions could be potentially harmful and we have to balance the risk with the benefit that we expect. Sending a kid to a school has its own benefit and its own risks. Such social interactions help in the emotional maturation of kids. I am truly concerned about the reputation of our School Buildings and the School as an Institution of Learning. There are so many people whom I have personally known and have directly observed while they worked hard to impart learning to their students. For example, at Pioneer High School, I met a Maths teacher late in the night while he was working on a copying machine. He had a splint on his leg and was standing with some difficulty. I had asked him as to what he was doing at that late hour. He gave me a gentle response. He was simply preparing the classwork assignment for all of his students who would be attending the class when the School opens. He had a doctor's appointment for his leg injury and he worked all night as he knows that the Substitute will not accomplish much.

Todd W. Grant

Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

As an attorney and business litigator, what I find missing in this discussion is the absurdity and brutality of charging the classmate of an 8-year-old girl (who is presumably 7 or 8 or 9 years-old himself) with first degree criminal sexual (mis)conduct (f/k/a "rape"). Such gross over-charging and abuse of prosecutorial discretion will ensure that the young boy (who is obviously emotionally disturbed) will have his entire life destroyed. He will be forced to register as a criminal sexual offender as an adult, and be effectively barred from employment and living in any residential area. We in America stand alone in the world in our routine mistreatment of young children in the criminal justice system. From what I understand about the criminal justice systems in other countries, their citizenry would look upon this over-charging of the young boy with rape the same way we look at stoning women adulterers in Afghanistan or at chopping a robber's hand off in Saudi Arabia. The Washtenaw County Prosecutor's office is out of its mind! But, of course, it responds to the lowest common denominator of public opinion in a high profile case like this. Sincerely, Todd W. Grant, MHSA, JD


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 10:01 p.m.

Often, special ed classes include children across the age spectrum. Eberwhite goes to the 5th grade. As such, there's a possibility the alleged attacker(s) may have been eleven years old.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

Mr. Grant, this offender needs to be in the system. If for no other reason than to alert the administrators of the next district he goes to.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

From the article it seems to be a clear case of bullying and assault. Children are sexualized at such young ages, they are willingly, though not able to consent legally, having sex at even this young age. The bathrooms are used as the favored place for "hook ups." Then if the teacher doesn't allow students to go to the bathroom during class time they are seen as unreasonable. It's too bad the bathrooms have to be supervised to prevent children from being assaulted. It's also a tragedy that children are so sexualized that they even think about having sex or assaulting one another at such young ages. We need to protect children from viewing explicit movies and other venues that sexualize children so young. I feel sorry for this young girl. Being bullied and assaulted is truly a tragedy.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

As a parent of a child who was bullied and physically assaulted at school last year, I speak from first-hand knowledge and can say that the school DID NOT follow Ann Arbor district policy in any way, shape, or form. In fact, the school principal said that calling the police would be a waste of time. There were absolutely NO consequences imposed upon the perpetrators. So, I'm not surprised by how the situation at Eberwhite was handled.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Again, I think there is a story here---what does happen when the police are called? Why are representatives from AAPS discouraging parents from contacting the police? How often are they called and for what--drugs, bullying, etc.? Having a child in AAPS, your post saddens me, and also scares the pants off of me.

Basic Bob

Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

The alleged assault is tragic. Regardless of who reported (and who did not), the matter was referred to the police in a short span of time when the victim's mother took the child to the hospital. Great news - the system worked. The person most responsible for reporting the crime is the victim herself - she must tell a responsible adult, and apparently she did. Whether or not the school was required to report is immaterial because the case was already reported. It is not clear from the legal filing whether the school followed up with the mother, but I bet they had some conversations and knew the girl was examined, and the hospital was required to report. Certainly in the course of the police investigation, they would have visited the school, reported to the office, etc. Again, why would the school need to report an active investigation? The only issue here should be whether the school acted in the best interest of the student by processing a transfer or removing the alleged assailant from the school. Like most other things in Ann Arbor Schools requiring a procedure, they are unable to complete anything without intervention. There seems to be a step in every procedure that says, stall and see if the problem goes away by itself, even when board members directly intervene. For that inability to follow the procedures they have written for themselves, they face a lawsuit.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

That's not the only issue at all that should be considered, sheesh, although that's what is focusing on. Why should the transfer be the biggest issue? That's just one more stupid thing that happened that was detrimental to the children.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 11:09 a.m.

How about the million dollar letters sent to everyone's home asking for money for the schools????????What a waste of money Ann Arbor Exceptional Schools.JOKE JOKE JOKE .This is serious these are 8 year old . Why did the teachers once again leave the classroom and they actually believed it would be swept under the rug .


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 11:04 a.m.

Can someone please give me the definition of : ___________Outstanding Citizen of Ann Arbor ?????????????


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 11 a.m.

When I went to the Board of Education they walked out !Under the Supervision of Mr. Todd. One board member told me if she continued to assist me she was threaten to loose her seat.Was a seat on the Board of Education that important or children's well being?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Board of Education is not a closed meeting but they can in act that policy also walking out .Ann Arbor Exceptional Schools. Police what are you doing . If you bother them too much about your child being assaulted they label you as a wacka doddle.Also so everyone knows this when a police report is filed at 18 that record will follow your bullying child for the rest of their lives.Parents of bullies you need your homes investigated because children were not born angry and abusive racist , lying they learned it at home.There should be a bi- partisan office in every school who takes these crimes seriously so they will not be covered up .Thank you U of M hospital, Urgent care centers for following the laws.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 10:51 a.m.

Welcome to Ann Arbor Exceptional Schools we have no money but the money to change the letter head on all papers !!!!!!


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 10:43 a.m.

I hope this is a wake up call to all! I am saddened by the situation and age of the victim. My hope is that a reporter for Ann goes to the police department (GOLD)and see's how many parents have filed police reports of abuse and physical assaults.You will be surprised!How they are not handled . As parents if we go to the board of Education meetings we are kicked out.. The victims become the outcasts having to eat lunch with teachers,no recess etc while the bullies run free.As parents are hands are tied and the endless meetings where the bullying parents never show .The emotional, mental abuse our children suffer.The police and school do nothing. A school and teachers have our children for 7 hours a day , if you and your children cannot trust the teacher nor the principal how is your child suppose to learn. I used the laws it got me no where accept a year to home school my son and prepare him emotionally and mentally to trust again.I think Ms. Margolis should RESIGN and any principal that has been involved in these cover ups Fired with docked pay and as one principal put it "Look I am 4 months from retirement" It is not only children doing this to children but the teachers , principals and Superintendent office all need to be investigated . Also my hopes that the reported will check the Dept of Education where complaints are to be handled They are burned out as well . No child Left behind is a joke to "The Ann Arbor School system.My son was only when beaten 16 plus times by the same boy. I was handed a note that stated he punched my son in the face again and he split his chin open and "just a baby tooth knocked out and a permanent front tooth My son's chin never stitched too late .The Principal and parents reasoning His father has been going on trips to Texas and the boy is upset. Please bullying and race , sexual orientation starts in the home I also think Child protective services should be involved investigate all cases.Exce


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

I would be very interested also in a story about how many police reports are filed concerning physical assaults at AAPS and how they are handled.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 7:44 a.m.

What bothers me also is Sue Baskett's statements. "Come to me, and I'll fix things." She's been on the Board a long time, and there's been many complaints about how poorly special ed has been, especially at that school, and she hasn't fixed it, and now look, some little kids have been completely victimized in a school setting and it's the adults fault for poorly staffing and running the place. Where was she in preventing this? Why does she think someone needs to go to her personally to get a transfer? Is that how it really works in AAPS? Does no one have any common sense in this district?


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 5:55 a.m.

As a graduate of the Ann Arbor Public Schools, I can say that the districts handling of this case does not surprise me. While it is disappointing to say the least, it is consistent with the atitude of most administrators, both within individual schools and at Balas. Most administrators that I have known do not care about their responsibilities or their students. They dismiss concerns of students and parents simply because they are too lazy and inept to deal properly with them. Is this harsh? Yes, but it is also accurate, from my personal experiences. For a city like Ann Arbor to have such a poorly run public school district is a travesty. Want to fix the budget crisis and make the schools better? Change has to start at the top and we need people in these positions who will, and are capable, of doing the right thing. Administrators need to start being held responsible for their actions and punished for violating students rights and not promoting a safe, inclusive learning environment.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

In the time since this incident happened, Eberwhite has a new principal and the district has a new superintendant. The directory of curriculum at the elementary level left (retired, iirc). Who else would you like to leave?


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 3:01 a.m.

Prevention through Lawsuits : It would be difficult to provide public education if we have to use lawsuits to ensure proper supervision of kids in classrooms. It surprises me that the staff were not available for some reason and not aware of kids activities while the School is in session. I have to look at the faces of these kids and listen to them directly as to how they describe their own actions. Children are getting overexposed to sexually explicit material and are unintentionally displaying behavior of sexual nature which could be alarming but could be modified if we reduce such exposure at homes. I still think that the former Principal had acted in good faith. The lives of kids are involved and the Principal in her wisdom may have suggested to treat the matter with due concern for the well-being of all the parties. We do not know as to how the incident was actually reported to her and it may have looked like mischievous behavior rather than that of criminal sexual conduct. To criminalize the behavior of kids is a painful task. All said and done, it is much easier to ruin the reputation built by others and to build reputation is a long process. We need to focus upon the simple acts of supervision and care for the reputation of our institutions that we inherited from others.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

Again, the fact is, the school administration, and now we hear, members of the school board, did not report anything to the police, though they are legally, morally, and professionally responsible to, as soon as they are told. There is no grey area here. CPS should have been notified immediately about any of these incidents, so they could conduct a proper investigation. The fact that CPS were not notified smells of a cover-up. This was not professional behavior. If the investigation is conducted, and it turns out to be much ado about nothing, then no one can be accused of a cover-up. It was a good faith attempt to observe the law. If there was a problem, then it gets investigated in a timely manner by an agency that knows how to conduct such an investigation, and can be objective about the findings and the next steps needed. This would be a better result for all concerned.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 1:45 p.m.

In ALL of your posts, you are more concerned with the reputation of AAPS and particularly Eberwhite, than you are of anything else. Maybe this attitude is part of the problem within the schools and what let this escalate into this situation!


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 2:57 a.m.

This is the third article on the topic and I am actually disturbed at the sensationalizing of events that may or may not have occurred at Eberwhite by I believe most of us were taught to think critically when given a piece of information and this is exactly what we have been given - a piece. The articles are one-sided and I it almost seems like a ploy by the plaintiff's lawyer to rouse excitement and skew perceptions. Of course, it's always great fuel for the fire if the other side doesn't or cannot give a rebuttal. While what was reported sounds like a horrible tragedy, I am one to reserve judgement until all sides have spoken and made their case. Currently every post seems to be attacking the school and defendant, but what about the other side of the coin : the victim's mother could be taking advantage of a situation for monetary reasons; the lawyer could taking advantage of the the whole family for gain as well; the events could have been misconstrued from the beginning which would make the whole "reporting" procedure a non-issue. Without hearing from both sides, we just do not know. We are outsiders looking at one piece of a very large puzzle and until everything comes together to present the whole picture I can simply offer sympathy to all those involved (on both sides) and hope that any wrongdoing (on whichever side it turns out to be) will be fixed.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

While $75,000 sounds like a lot, I think if it were about monetary gains, they would ask for a lot more. What is disturbing is, that through this story, we are hearing (anecdotal I know), from other parents who have had their kids bullied and the ineffective way it is being handled. And I think we will only be hearing more with the new super wanting to close the "discipline gap". Maybe if more parents went to police/sued, these issues would start being taken seriously.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 2:05 a.m.

@jns: Not sure why you feel all the teachers should be removed. Seems a bit radical, especially since the lawyer himself says the incident, if it happened as the mother says, hasn't been fully investigated.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 6:19 p.m.

Incident hasn't been fully investigated in LA either. Yet they are removing the whole lot. Goes without saying.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 1:47 a.m.

Do what they are doing in LA. Clean out the school and start over. Enough said. I am now hearing 3 more are involved. Good night is nothing left sacred in our schools?

Let me be Frank

Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 11:46 p.m.

Those who are found negligent in reporting this matter should be given the Joe Paterno maneuver, If there are no consequences then what the hey!


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 11:19 p.m.

Lucky the school system is only going to give up $75K which is what the mother wants, a mere pittance for such a tragedy.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

Tragedy is a strong word for a story that so far only has one side.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

I really hope the teacher is fired as well including all the adults who should have been watching.

say it plain

Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 11:10 p.m.

Apparently, unfortunately, Trustee Basskett is right... The mother must have been very unhappy with what happened and how the aftermath was handled to decide to sue. The big questions we'll need to have answered--and I hope Trustee Baskett is among those demanding the answers!-- include not only why this incident was allowed to go unreported until the UM Hospital reported it to police, but also why the bullying of the victim here was allowed to continue, whether it was of a sexual nature all along, why the room was left so totally unsupervised, whether there was any indication that the boys accused here were showing signs that they could be capable of such despicable acts, and--a big one for the trustees to understand about 'due process' in their district!--why the mother was given any trouble at all in obtaining a transfer of schools for her child.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

What is troubling to me is that school board members were aware of this situation and apparently did little or nothing to intervene. Andy Thomas and Christine Stead have chosen not to respond to inquiries and judging by Susan Baskett's comments, she obviously knew about this incident but did not act proactively to address it, stating..."we left it as, if the mother does not get what she ants, please get back with me...The mother is probably trying to take a preventative measure to keep it from happening again---and who can blame her. Trustee Basket, when you knew about this incident, you and other board members should have been proactive in addressing this matter. Shame on you!


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 10:08 p.m.

I'm done with this issue. Call out the dogs. Children would be better protected if they were allowed to bring a military trained dog to school with them. These instances in the schools, in the people's homes make the city of Ann Arbor look pretty pathetic. Who do you trust? I trust the police. But, apparently the school Administrators, and officials do not...not to mention those pathetic U of M security guards.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 9:48 p.m.

This is starting to go in the national and world wide media, I thought Ann Arbor had the most educated people? Maybe a course in common sense needs to be implemented. I don't believe we've heard then end of this, many posting here would may have resorted to other means if reporting an incident as such and no one bothered to follow up especially if it were your child. And we wonder why individuals loose control.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.

I agree 100% !! The police should have been notified long before now! Swept under the rug or facts falling between the cracks happens way to often, and has been for many years.

Momma G

Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 9:20 p.m.

Doesn't surprise me in the least. Hope the new superintendent steps up her "accountability" of administrators and staff! Heaven knows the former one didn't do the job when incidents were reported to him.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

"Teachers are listed as mandatory reporters under the Michigan Child Protection Law. The law requires mandatory reporters to make an immediate verbal report to CPS and a written report within 72 hours after suspecting a child has been abused or neglected. Anyone who violates that law can be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to 93 days in jail, if convicted". If you're listed as a mandatory reporter, you better damn well report it or be criminally charged. I don't care what Joshua Kay "thinks". A jury will decide and the District Attorney needs to be bringing criminal charges against these mandated reporters who aren't reporting.

Mark Salke

Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 8:53 p.m.

Doesn't it seem simple to err on the side of caution and report through the proper channels?


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

I have tried to write patient, thoughtful posts about topics such as this, but I admit I am really losing my patience. The EMU murder coverup, Penn State, the recent UMMC problem, and now this. Where is the common sense?! Of COURSE the police should have been called! Take care of business, people! And please, no more trite phrases about falling through the cracks or weasel words about uncertainty who had jurisdiction. Figure out who has jurisdiction and take action, and follow up! (My apologies, rant is over.)


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

Very well articulated. nothing more needs to be said!


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 1:50 a.m.

They are removing all the teachers from that school. I think same should be done here too.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

Yes, I had forgotten about the recent story about the LA schools. Of course, the actions in all these cases are revolting, depraved, and very, very serious. But what's getting me even angrier are the coverups, the pretending not to know, the fear of repercussions, and the gross institutional failures to step up and do the right thing.

5c0++ H4d13y

Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

Go look at what's up in LA school system. It'll turn your stomach.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

There was a big push that year to cut staffing costs, especially in special education. Maybe part of that involved, wink, wink, not hiring subs for special ed staff that calls in, and administration figured they can get by for a day here and there without the staffing required via a kid's IEP. Pennywise and pound foolish. The district so think again about their stance about making it so hard to deliver good service to special ed kids. They can't go to the principals and ask for cost cutting, and the principals deliver for them, and then be surprised, and feel sad for the poor kids in this case. All those savings probably are for naught, instead, tragedy ensues.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 10:17 p.m.

Yes but the Rickster just cut the education budget by 15% and is giving the farm away for $1.8 Billion in tax cuts to business. We have to get our priorities straight, tax cuts first in every case.

5c0++ H4d13y

Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

Yea the obvious solution is to increase funding.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

There's a lot to be said and critical about with the principal, and not immediately reporting this is a problem, as well as not telling the family right away. But what really bothers me is that the preventative measures to this sad event aren't being discussed, how could this have been prevented in the first place, and were those plans in place ie sufficient stafffing at all times with high maintenance kids, and was the principal deliberately not making sure there was qualified staff at all times in there? And if that's so, how could that have happened? You shouldn't have to go to the Board to get help, nobody on the Board can do anything directly anyway. It's the bigger problem of how structurally the flaws in the system failed these kids.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

The apparent fact that there is confusion about what should be done (if anything) and by whom angers me. All potentially relevant parties (teachers or their union(s), police, state authorities, etc.) should get together, figure out what the law is and how it pertains to any conceivable scenario, identify gaps in the law and move forward with appropriate legislation if needed, and come up with a logical, legal and explicit policy on how all such events should be handled. To have continuing controversy that this scenario should be reported or not, that this policy says that it should and another says, no, it is not necessary, is maddening! Figure it out, people!


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

Something has to change here. The protection of the victim takes precedence over the rights of the assaulting student. If the standards are not there to protect the innocent, then the standards are inadequate. Let's use some common sense here. The child assaulted is the true victim. The assailant is not the victim, he/she is the perpatrator of a wrong.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

The mandatory reporting should have been done and those officials who did not take the initiative should be subject to disciplinary action. I am tired of seeing school officials sweeping serious sexual assault matters like this under the the rug.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 10:14 p.m.

Thats right, we all know that something like this happens every day.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

Yeah, this is bad news all around. Like the UM case and the doctor case there isn't much to do here except offer sympathy to the victims and wonder how we could let this happen. Except of course, the determined few who will ask us to withhold judgement despite the fact that the police and the family's lawyer have proceeded onwards.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 11:16 p.m.

My apologies sh1. I guess I have violated the childs due process. Thanks for keeping us all honest. How dare we assume there should have been someone watching the children or that it should have been reported. How dare we not wait for, one more time, hypothetical future evidence before we say something about this case.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

Nothing more to say, except you might want to look "due process" up in the dictionary.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

Yeah, there is due process I'm just not getting the whole 'lets wait for all the facts to come out' or 'wait till the defendant gets to say something'. The police and the victims parents think there is enough to go on, I didn't realize the internet message boards needed a higher standard of proof.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 8:28 p.m.

The only parent we've heard from is the one filing the suit, speaking through her lawyer. We don't know what happened once charges were filed with the police. I'm willing to wait for due process, since our nation was founded on it. Maybe in the end I'll find myself agreeing with you.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

My bad. Thanks for reminding us not to push forward too soon. Gosh, there isn't an edit button, so I suppose I'll look at my original post and edit. Hmmm, proceeded onwards. Where is there proof that the police proceeded onwards after recieving the report (the report that you demand more from)? Can I find a link that says that the police did proceed onwards? Oh yeah, the article that says boy was charged. A link that says the girls parents proceeded onwards after hearing these facts? The article that says they are suing AAPS. And, if you were saying that we don't know if the police and lawyers have moved on since then, investigated it a bit more, then no, I suppose I don't, I just assumed that the police don't charge people for giggles and that you don't sue the AAPS unless you plan on going forward. My bad. Now that I've answered your question, perhaps you could answer mine. Why, when the parents and police have taken a look at this and come to the conclusion something bad went down (consider lawsuit and charging the boy as evidence), why don't you? Why are you relying on hypothetical future evidence that will change how we percieve this situation?


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

I was not aware that the police had moved forward on this after pressing charges. Could you please provide that link?