Parents are demanding answers as to how a 6-year-old girl was recorded being sexually assaulted in a classroom by another student while others screamed and cheered him on.
The teacher was allegedly in the classroom but was wearing earphones and not paying attention.
The alleged incident took place at South Elementary in Plainview Independent School District late last month; however, the victim’s family was only recently informed—by the child, not the school.
The victim’s great-aunt, whose name is being withheld for privacy reasons, said the school is trying to pretend that nothing happened. When the family asked about the incident, they were told that “just an inappropriate video [was] taken.”
“They’re trying to sweep this under the rug and pretend it’s no big deal,” said the victim’s great-aunt.
The family was not alerted of the alleged incident by the school and instead came to realize something was wrong when they “noticed differences in [the girl’s] demeanor.”
“She wasn’t sleeping well, she wasn’t eating, she was peeing in the bed again, her eyes were glossed over, her stomach always hurt,” said the great-aunt.
The little girl’s great-aunt said when she noticed something was wrong, she sat her niece down and tried to talk with her. Although the great-aunt told the girl she was safe, protected, and loved—no matter what—she couldn’t look her in the eyes. The victim said she felt weird and angry.
That’s when the child told her she was recorded being bullied and hurt by students in her classroom. It was later revealed the incident was recorded on a password-protected, school-issued iPad.
The video allegedly showed the little girl being forced to perform an oral sexual act. A large group of kids was screaming and encouraging the perpetrator, a male student in the same class.
The perpetrator allegedly was recorded pulling the little girl under the table as she hit him with her poetry book, begging him to stop.
He then allegedly pulled her legs hard enough she fell to the floor, pulled her under the table by her hair, and forced her head to his genitals.
“His penis went inside her mouth,” the great-aunt said between sobs. “All under teacher supervision.”
According to the little girl’s great-aunt, school officials claimed the teacher was wearing earphones and listening to “calming music” while helping another group of students.
However, parents of the victim’s classmates began telling her family their child relayed that the teacher would sometimes walk out of the classroom to talk to others, leaving the classroom unsupervised.
Soon after this incident, the little girl was sexually assaulted again when a boy exposed his genitals while in line for lunch.
The great-aunt said her niece told her she was uncomfortable and asked the boy what he was doing. The supervising teacher didn’t care, the great-aunt alleged.
“School administrators have said there have been no complaints of bullying or sexual assault,” the great-aunt continued.
The cousin of the victim explained the school recently won an “award for safety” for keeping children safe from bullying and assault.
“Our teachers are not keeping them safe,” said the great-aunt.
The victim’s cousin explained she has several statements from parents saying these kinds of events have been happening all year.
“There are kids that have been having to touch boys or touch themselves. If they don’t comply, they’re giving them ‘Indian burns,’ and they’re getting kids to bully them,” said the little girl’s cousin.
“A little boy has been bringing porn to school and making all the kids watch porn; it’s his dad’s phone,” she continued. “He’s making kids re-enact what they’re seeing.”
“They’re trying to … make this seem like it was an isolated event,” said the victim’s family of the school administrators.
According to the victim’s cousin, the school has said they are in contact with other parents regarding the event. Meanwhile, those parents are saying they haven’t heard anything from the school.
The great-aunt explained the perpetrators were left in the same class for a week and a half before being moved to different classes. During this time, the little girl was forced to sit at the same table with them.
Parents of students in the perpetrators’ new classrooms have not been informed of the incidents or the perpetrators’ roles.
The teacher, whose name has not been released, is currently on paid administrative leave, but school administrators have not acknowledged whether she’s been removed from the classroom.
According to the victim’s cousin, administrators have informed the family that CPS is handling the case, and “since CPS is investigating this case, it should be good enough.” However, school officials have refused to provide any other details.
“Our kids deserve to be safe at school. We need to protect our kids from other kids,” said the victim’s great-aunt.
Parents claim PISD Superintendent HT Sánchez has hidden things from them in the past. Similar allegations were made at his previous school district, yet he was allowed to transfer to PISD.
“At one point, Dr. Sánchez even said, ‘The public will not know what you don’t allow them to know,’” the great-aunt said.
The victim’s family is calling for the removal of the teacher, the principal, and the superintendent.
The next board meeting is May 18, and Sánchez’ contract is on the posted agenda. The little girl’s family encouraged parents to show up and testify against Sánchez’ continued employment.
“We want justice for our kids,” said the great-aunt.
Parents of PISD students are hosting a protest against the school administration and Sánchez over this and several other incidents. The protest is scheduled for May 5 at 6 p.m. at Broadway Park in Plainview.
PISD did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s request for comment.