(Robert Jonathan, Headline USA) A Texas school district canceled classes on Monday and Tuesday following recent protests by parents over a disturbing allegation of sexual abuse involving a first-grade victim and her classmates.
According to the Plainview Independent School District, staff at South Elementary had been receiving threats in connection with “misinformation” about the investigation, KCBD reported.
Administrators also cited the mass shooting in Allen, Texas—roughly 350 miles away—as part of their rationale for canceling.
Parents were, among other things, demanding more transparency given that officials apparently never initially contacted the family when a 6-year-old girl was allegedly victimized by male classmates on April 19.
Heather Gonzales, the girl’s older cousin, said parents had received only sparse details when a protest was staged outside the PISD administration building, everythingLubbock.com reported.
Two incidents allegedly occurred: A student forced the girl to “perform a sex act” under a desk, which was recorded on an iPad, and another boy exposed himself to her on the cafeteria lunch line.
In the first incident, a teacher was reportedly in the classroom. The district indicated that it occurred “away from full vision of the teacher.”
Officials placed the educator on administrative leave while local police and the Texas Child Protective Services investigated.
The family apparently only got wind of what happened because they noticed a significant change in the youngster’s behavior, Gonzales explained.
“She’s in distress, she’s like, ‘My stomach hurts. I just want to lay down,’” said the cousin.
“You can tell something’s wrong with her,” Gonzales added. “So, they said ‘what’s going on? What happened.'”
The girl’s aunt, separately, said the child had been suffering from nightmares as a result of what happened and was unwilling to return to school.
Plainview ISD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez said that the district and parents should work together to come up with a solution.
In a lengthy statement that underscored certain privacy and confidentiality requirements that apply to minors, the school district asserted that the teacher took charge of a password-protected, school iPad and a technician subsequently did a workaround to access inappropriate content.
“The two parents/guardians of students suspected to be on the video were called,” and were informed that CPS would be also be notified, the district noted. The school system superintendent, assistant superintendent, and school principal have also visited the family.
Earlier this month, the Plainview Herald implied that these may not be isolated incidents, and that that some parents were considering pulling their kids out of South Elementary for safety reasons.
“Multiple parents of students at South Elementary shared their concerns during the protest and called for answers and changes, including change in district leadership,” said the newspaper.
One parent asserted that “A 6-year-old was exposed to things that even adults would have a hard time overcoming. This is trauma at its worst and it is a trickle-down effect because it affects everyone around them.”
On Friday, Plainview IDS told Fox News that “CPS is continuing its investigation, and we continue to cooperate with CPS and law enforcement, by their request we are not able to comment any further than we have shared.”
The school district was working with the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division “to evaluate the reported threats,” the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal noted. The FBI is also involved.