By Stan Bush
DENVER (CBS4) – The mother of an East High School student is accusing school administrators and Denver Public Schools of negligence after her daughter was repeatedly sexually attacked at school.
“He got her alone in rooms, barred them so she couldn’t leave and then held her against her will while he did things to her and she fought and screamed and cried and couldn’t escape,” said the mother who asked not to be identified to protect her daughter’s identity.
Denver’s District Attorney has charged the juvenile with felony unlawful sexual contact, two misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual contact and false imprisonment. The incidents took place over a two-year span. Three of the charges occurred on campus, the fourth happened at the Carla Madison Rec Center.
Denver Police were alerted of the incidents in June.
Denver Public Schools released a statement saying they were made aware of the incidents on June 12. The mother requested the boy be expelled from East High School, but says principal John Youngquist told her administrators would look into the incident when they returned to begin the new school year.
“They’re doing nothing. When I spoke to them about us wanting him to be expelled they told me he has a right to a free education under the Constitution and they’re not going to expel him,” said the mother. “I said ‘I don’t want him to not get an education. I just don’t want him to get it here.’”
DPS says they are following their expulsion protocol in the case, but the mother accuses the school and the school district of not taking the incident seriously. She says she handed East HS administrators a restraining order for the boy involved, but was told the school would instead follow a “safety plan” and allow both students to be at school at the same time.
“They had decided they were capable of executing a safety plan to keep her safe. Well, they weren’t capable of keeping her safe for two years, so how is anything going to change?” the mother told CBS4.
DPS admits they have seen had all the information on the case and told CBS4 they were not aware of the charging documents that were filed in court. Denver’s DA says DPS was given those documents a week ago when they were filed in court. DPS says they only received the documents when CBS4 gave them to the district’s communications team Tuesday afternoon.
The girl’s mother says when she asked again for the boy to be expelled last week, East’s Vice Principal allegedly said the accusations against the male student were not necessarily grounds for expulsion.
“The vice principal pointed out to me that they had no obligation to try and expel or report it to the police,” the mother added.
DPS says they are still looking into the incidents and expect a decision soon, though they did not say it would happen before students come back to school next week.
The girl’s mother says she is nervous about allowing her girl to go back after scandals involving abuse against the girl’s cheerleading team and an unreported rape last year. She says East may not be safe for girls.
“East does not care about the safety of their female students, and I would strongly advise other parents of girls not to send their children to that school, because they don’t care,” she said.
DPS offered the following full statement:
We are committed to ensuring that any student who has concerns about inappropriate or unlawful sexual behavior is fully supported and that any concerns about abuse are promptly reported to law enforcement. When the school became aware of these issues on June 12, 2018, the leadership at East immediately notified the Denver Police Department and the Denver Public Schools Department of Safety. Emails show that East’s principal responded to the mother that same day to let her know he’d made these reports. The parent did not respond until last week when the school received an update on the student. We are continuing to follow our processes to respond to these allegations and are working diligently with the students and families involved on appropriate next steps.