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Superintendent: 3 students accused in rape weren't suspended | News

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Superintendent: 3 students accused in rape weren't suspended
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ATHENS, Ga. — Three students accused of raping a classmate at Cedar Shoals High School in Athens were not suspended from classes after the alleged incident, the district superintendent has confirmed.

 

According to a timeline released by school officials last week, the female student reported that she was raped in a school stairwell on Jan. 7. 

Two students were arrested on Jan. 30; a third was arrested on Feb. 2. 

The arrests were reported by the Athens Banner Herald on Feb. 4 and by 11Alive on Feb. 5. 


Some parents and staffers were upset
 after they said they only learned of the alleged attack from the media, not school leaders.

TIMELINE: Alleged rape at Cedar Shoals High School

Cedar Shoals Principal Tony Price was placed on administrative leave. Derrick Maxwell currently serves as interim principal of the school.

In the statement, Lanoue wrote of the follow steps administrators are taking to ensure that a similar situation does not occur:

  • We will hold a work session/training for all principals regarding safety protocol, including reporting and communication
  • Our Chief of Police has communicated with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department to streamline communications
  • Weekly standing meetings have been scheduled between the Associate Superintendent of District Services, CCSD Chief of Police and Executive Director of Student Support Services
  • Community partners such as The Cottage and Project Safe continue to be available to our school community to help facilitate conversations around education, prevention and intervention

Police have charged 17-year-old Jaivous Malik Collins with rape and and being a party to the crime of criminal attempt to commit aggravated sodomy with force. Markel Dereek Brannon, 18, is charged with being party to the crime of rape and party to the crime of criminal attempt to commit aggravated sodomy with force. Xavier Marquise Clarke, 18, is charged with being a party to the crime of rape and criminal attempt to commit aggravated sodomy with force.

Superintendent Lanoue's entire letter was:

Dear Clarke County School District Faculty and Staff,


The past few weeks have been very emotional and difficult for our community. I know it has been extremely challenging to be patient through this process, and I want you to know that your frustration is understood and shared. The safety of our children is and has remained my priority, and in order to keep that focus, the integrity of an ongoing investigation must be kept intact.

One of our district’s beliefs is that “caring and trusting relationships among students and adults in schools are vital to encouraging and promoting meaningful learning.” We must remember that children are learning from us every moment. Exactly what they learn often depends on our reaction to difficult conversations and situations. Some of the ways we talk with each other and with children can have a definite impact on their views about conflict, sexual assault, victim blaming and healthy relationships.

Data from the Crimes Against Children Research Center shows that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse. Self-report studies of adults show that 20% of adult females and up to 10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident. Clearly, the school and community conversations we have moving forward will have the greatest impact on our students, colleagues and many other individuals in our school and community.

Our counseling and support services departments are ready to provide support. If you notice signs of distress among your students, please seek out our school counselors to provide professional assistance. For our employees, we have the Employee Assistance Program through Family Counseling Services as a benefit to you.

I know that there are still many questions around the incident at Cedar Shoals High School. What I can share is that unfortunately, no student suspensions occurred. Disciplinary decisions are made at the school level. At the district level, we did not receive any follow-up through our police department. We did not effectively provide communication to our community. Due to breakdowns that transpired, we are working at the district level to increase checks and balances. Therefore, the following have occurred or are in process:

  • We will hold a work session/training for all principals regarding safety protocol, including reporting and communication
  • Our Chief of Police has communicated with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department to streamline communications
  • Weekly standing meetings have been scheduled between the Associate Superintendent of District Services, CCSD Chief of Police and Executive Director of Student Support Services
  • Community partners such as The Cottage and Project Safe continue to be available to our school community to help facilitate conversations around education, prevention and intervention

It’s time for us to all come together to move forward and work together to do what is right for all children. Thank you for your continued support of our district and community.

Sincerely,
Philip D. Lanoue, Ph.D.
Superintendent


3 arrested in alleged stairwell rape at Athens, Ga high school

 

 

 


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