A Texas school district has announced key findings from an investigation into allegations that a 6-year-old girl was forced by a classmate to perform a sexual act while another student recorded her on an issued iPad by the district, all in the presence of a teacher. .
The Hale County District Attorney and agents from the FBI’s Crimes Against Children Unit have taken all relevant statements and evidence regarding the incident at Plainview South Elementary School and the investigation has been submitted to the appropriate legal authorities, the Plainview Independent School District (ISD) announced Wednesday.
The district listed the key findings of the investigation, noting that law enforcement who viewed the iPad video “determined that there was no sexual assault; instead, a Mutual inappropriate sexual contact occurred between two 6-year-olds.”
“The incident was brief (34 seconds) with no calls for help or struggle,” the district also noted, adding that the school has contacted the parents or guardians of the children involved to advise them that inappropriate content had occurred. was found on the iPad. and that child protective services had been notified.
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“All of the 6-year-olds involved in the incident are victims and are being treated as such due to the appearance of behaviors that are not typical of 6-year-olds,” according to the district.
“We cannot speak to the conclusion of the Hale Country District Attorney or the FBI,” the district said. “Texas state law does not provide criminal penalties for children under 10, and public schools are prohibited from expelling or suspending children in 3rd grade or younger.”
Plainview South Elementary School closed Monday and Tuesday after a shooting in Allen, Texas, and amid alleged threats against the school, the district said in a statement Monday. A later statement explained that law enforcement “determined that the threat was not responsible.”
“This was a general threat throughout the Southwestern United States, and authorities will continue to investigate to find the source,” the district said. “Plainview ISD will keep its security measures in place throughout the week and the remainder of the school year.”
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Parents and community members in Plainview staged protests at Plainview ISD administrative offices and other locations following the alleged sexual assault at Plainview South Elementary School, saying the district n had not handled the situation properly.
The incident at school took place on April 19, when a 6-year-old girl was allegedly forced by her classmate to perform a sex act.
Heather Gonzales, the 6-year-old’s older cousin, told local KCBD that the girl’s family only learned of the details of the alleged assault after noticing a sudden change in her behavior.
“She’s distressed. She says, ‘I have a stomach ache. I just wanna lay down,’” Gonzales told the local outlet. “You can tell there’s something wrong with her. So they said, ‘What’s going on? What happened? “”
The girl allegedly revealed that a boy exposed himself to her in the school lunch queue and that she was also pulled under a desk and forced to perform a sex act while another student recorded with her. a district-issued iPad.
“She said she was hitting him with the poetry book,” Gonzales said, adding that her cousin tried her best to fight back but claimed the incident didn’t stop “until until they let me go”.
When the teacher collected students’ iPads the next day, she noticed that one of them had been locked with a password and took the device to the campus administrator. “Inappropriate content was discovered” on the iPad after a computer scientist unlocked it, according to the district.
The incident “occurred far from the full vision of the teacher,” who was placed on administrative leave pending investigation, the district said.
Gonzales said the district has failed to provide adequate responses, and there have been calls in the Plainview community for South Elementary Principal Jennifer Hughey and Superintendent HT Sanchez to be fired, according to the Plainview Herald. .
Sanchez told KCBD the school made a report and contacted Texas Child Protective Services when school officials discovered video of the incident a day after it happened. . He said a state investigator arrived in Plainview the following week and worked with local law enforcement.
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Prior to taking his post at Plainview ISD in 2018, Sanchez led the Tucson Unified School District and resigned four months after school officials waited six days to notify police of the sexual abuse allegations of a student against a teacher, according to KCBD.