KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Two teens, a 14-year-old male and a 13-year-old female, have been charged in the alleged rape at Southwest Early College Campus.
A student with autism told police she was repeatedly raped inside the school building in either March or April by the 14-year-old suspect while the 13-year-old suspect stood watch.
“I don’t understand who does that and why,” KCPS Superintendent Dr. Stephen Green said.
The allegations come after another student said two boys raped her at school last August.
Green said more security cameras were added after the August attack but called the recent issue a “calculated scheme.” Green said the students hid out of view of the cameras in a recessed doorway on the second floor no bigger than three or four feet-- but big enough to evade cameras and apparently staff.
Green said seven staff members have been put on leave as police investigate. They do plan to potentially wall-off sections of the school, which is so large it could handle a student body triple the size of the 600 or so students currently enrolled.
But Green adds keeping students safe from such an orchestrated attack wouldn’t be easy anywhere.
“Those children need help,” he said. “There is something wrong there. That speaks to a broader issue, a deep disturbance.”
Parents like Alfonso Armendariz don’t understand how two rapes can happen in one school year.
“Obviously someone isn’t doing their job,” he said.
His sophomore son Alfonso wants to leave Southwest High School.
“We’re working on that,” his father said.
Green admits the district is now considering drastic options to solve issues at the school that has faced trouble the last few years, acknowledging that closing the school is one of several options he won’t eliminate yet.