New report shows district's failures in alleged rape; victim's mother speaks for the first time

Jenna Hanchard spoke exclusively with girl's mom

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The mother of a young girl who was allegedly raped at Southwest Early College Campus spoke out of the first time in an exclusive interview with 41 Action News.

This case was the second alleged rape at SWECC in the same school year. The road to recovery for the recent alleged rape victim has been intense and extremely painful.

"She’s not the same anymore,” her mother said. “She's so scared and she doesn’t know what to do. She sleeps with us. She has nightmares. She has to wear pull ups. He destroyed her.”

41 Action News obtained a copy of an investigation report form the Missouri Department of Social Services. According to the report, the victim was sexually assaulted on April 1, 2014 in the hallway at Southwest Early College Campus. 

She was also assaulted three other times but never reported the incident because the boy, “threatened to kill [the victim] if she told.”

According to the victim’s mother, the girl’s sisters noticed she was having stomach pain and notified her mother that she was having trouble using the restroom.

"My daughter told us that she didn't want to go back to school and I asked her why and she was getting raped, smacked around and hit on by some guy,” she said.

According to the report, the victim, who has autism, is known to wander during the day. And, despite having only one teacher and one classroom in the school day on April 1, “she wandered nearly the whole day and no one searched for her during the time.”

"I sat in a room with the principal and the teacher and I asked her, I said, ‘What happened that day that my daughter was not in your hands?’”

According to the report, the assault on April 1, 2014 happened when the victim was out of class and on the second floor of the school near the gymnasium from 10:44 a.m. until 2 p.m. The report says there is video evidence of her at school walking the halls before and after the assault allegedly occurred.

The report says the victim’s teacher reported that she saw the victim leave the lunchroom at 10:44 a.m., when she was not supposed to, and asked her to come back. The teacher tried to follow the victim into the hallway and lost track of her. The teacher reportedly told security and the Special Education Process Coordinator that the victim ran off. Security, however, indicated they did not have a report of her missing on April 1, 2014.

"My daughter said he would see her and grab her. They'd be in some corner, she said he'd just do his thing and she would sit there and cry and there was a look out," the victim’s mother said. 

According to the investigation report, there is video evidence of the victim the being assaulted during the fifth class period on April 1, 2014. The report also notes that a girl is seen monitoring the hallway for the boy while he attacked the victim.

“The female later walks by the male student and [the victim] and puts her hand up to her face while walking by so as not to see what is going on. She does this on more than one occasion.”

The report concluded that there was an institutional failure on the part of the district.

“No one school district official appears to be solely responsible for the lack of supervision … on April 1, 2014. There is a preponderance of evidence for neglect of [victim] by unknown school district personnel.”

In a statement from the Kansas City Public Schools District:

“The safety, security and well-being of students are always among the top priorities of Kansas City Public Schools. Whenever there is an incident like that described in April 2014, Kansas City Public Schools takes a number of immediate steps to assist victims, the victims' families and any other students who are impacted. This includes providing the services of counselors and social workers. Confidentiality laws prevent KCPS from revealing the details of assistance that were provided to any specific student, but the community can be assured that no incident occurs without generating an immediate and caring response.” [read full statement here]

While school leaders said they offered counseling services following the alleged incident, the mother said the help came after she sought assistance from community leaders. Now, she said the phone doesn’t ring at all.

"My daughter asked us like a month ago, she said, ‘Why haven’t my teachers come to check on me?’ and I didn't know what to tell her. No one has come knocking on my door. No one has come to check on my daughter to see how things are going.”

As the district prepares to merge with Academie Lafayette to transform the troubled Southwest Early College Campus, the news bothers the mother whose daughter was allegedly violated within the walls of that school.

"All you hear are good things going on with this building and what they are about to do. I don't see anything good about it. They are crazy if they send their kids to that school. I'm scared for other kids and I'm scared of that second floor and I think that school needs to be closed down," she said.
 

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