Parents upset that suspects continued classes for weeks after alleged rape | News
ATHENS, Ga. -- School officials laid out their plan to move forward after an alleged rape at Cedar Shoals High School.
Three students were arrested and charged after 15-year-old girl told police she was raped in a stairwell at the school.
Some parents and staffers were upset
after they said they only learned of the alleged attack from the media, not school leaders.
At an emergency meeting on Wednesday, school officials laid out a timeline of events regarding the investigation:
According to the presentation, on Jan. 8, the Board of Education was emailed by the director of public relations about the alleged sexual assault. A voicemail from school administration regarding an unspecified student incident left for executive assistant to the executive director of student support services.
Also on Jan. 8, school security unsuccessfully attempted to retrieve video of the alleged incident. They then believed that it was not recorded.
On Jan. 30, two students were arrested. Another student arrest followed on Feb. 1.
On Feb. 4, the arrests were reported in the Athens Banner-Herald. The next day, parents received an email from the school about the arrests.
On Feb. 8, the internal investigation began the interviewing process, and message and support was provided to students. Then on Feb. 9, the superintendent provided a statement to the Cedar Shoals community with information about "events and safety."
The school district released an official statement on Feb. 11, and its regular school board meeting.
On Feb. 12, the Clarke County School Board said it was making plans to install an interim principal in place of Tony Price. On Feb. 15, The school announced Dr. Monica Grant as interim principal.
In additional to the timeline, school officials laid out its plan to move forward. Those plans included a change in its administrative team, a teacher to focus on attendance, enhanced security and monitoring and improved communication with police. Other measures include a work session to be held with all district principals to "create understanding around significant safety events."
At the meeting, parents were emotional and demanded answers about why the three young men charged with assault went back to school for three weeks after the attack.
“Why were these young men not suspended immediately?” asked one parent.
“Why aren’t we getting answers from you now?” questioned another.
None of the district leaders on stage could offer a clear answer.
11Alive’s Jeremy Campbell addressed those concerns one-on-one with Superintendent Philip Lanoue:
Campbell: “Why can’t you just answer why it took so long to pull those kids out of school?”
Lanoue: “That’s because it’s under an internal investigation.”
Campbell: “When will the investigation be lifted so people can get real answers?
Lanoue: “What happens as you know when you deal with personnel issues, it’s just a matter of what you can release. I want to make sure it’s complete and I want to do due process”
Campbell: "Could it be two weeks? Two months?"
Lanoue: “I’m not going to make that call.”
Lanoue says he expects this is the last public meeting about this, stating it’s time to “move forward.”