The mother of a 5-year-old female kindergarten student at Santa Fe Elementary school in Cleburne said two boys sexually assaulted her daughter on Thursday in one of the school’s bathrooms. The mother said her daughter told her that the same two boys have also sexually assaulted at least four other female students at various times throughout the school year.
The Times-Review is not publishing the names of the parties involved since the alleged victims are minors.
Cleburne ISD and Cleburne police officials on Monday confirmed that they have received reports of the allegations and that the incident remains under investigation.
The mother of the child said she wants to get word of the incident out so that parents of other Santa Fe students so they can determine if their children were affected by the alleged incidents, and talk to and help them if necessary.
“Parents need to know so they can talk to their kids,” the mother said. “CISD will send out a release about head lice, but they’re not going to send anything out on sexual assault.”
CISD Superintendant Tim Miller said that parents of all Santa Fe students have been notified.
Letters sent home Monday addressed the alleged sexual assault, CISD officials said in a release dispatched Monday.
“In a letter from Principal Wilmer Romero, parents were told that the Cleburne Police Department and Child Protective Services were immediately [notified] Friday, as were parents of children alleged to have been involved in the incident,” the release reads. “The district has also begun an investigation and is working with the police and CPS officials.
“Santa Fe parents were told that the safety of their students was of the utmost importance, and were also requested to notify the campus principal, assistant principal or counselor of information they may have relating to the matter or any concern their child might have as a student at the campus.”
The mother, who reporter the alleged assaults, said her daughter came home from school Thursday hurting and “red and sore” but did not tell her what happened until later that night when she was getting ready for bed.
The daughter, the mother said, told her that a boy in her grade and an older boy went into the girl’s bathroom and turned the lights off. The older boy allegedly held the girl down while the younger boy “did stuff” to her, the mother said.
The daughter told her mother that the same boys did the same thing to her the week before Christmas break and that she saw them do the same to at least four other girls on various occasions.
When she learned Thursday night what allegedly occurred to her daughter, the mother took her to the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne emergency room and reported the matter to police.
Cleburne police confirmed that they took a report on the incident about 11 p.m. Thursday night.
Early indications point to both of the alleged suspects being younger than 10, the age of criminal responsibility, CPS Detective Kelly Summey said.
Investigation into the matter remains ongoing, Summey said. If something is found or suspected to have happened, children younger than 10 would not face criminal charges, but police would refer the matter to another agency for review, Summey said.
Miller on Monday said that surveillance cameras have been installed at Santa Fe but that they are not in classrooms or bathrooms. Determining if two boys entered the girls rest room depends on which rest room the alleged incident occurred in, Miller said.
Some of the classrooms at Santa Fe, including the pre-K and kindergarten grades, have rest rooms connected to the classroom and would not have surveillance cameras, Miller said.
Entrances in the hallways, however, would be covered by cameras.
Miller said the mother reported the incident at the school on Friday morning and confirmed that she withdrew her daughter from the school on that same day.
The mother said her daughter will be interviewed by a “professional” to try to better determine exactly what happened.
Miller on Monday said school officials have not had the opportunity to interview the mother and the daughter in person but hope to do so soon. Miller said the accused students have been interviewed and the parents of additional potential alleged victims, in so far as they can be identified at this point, have been contacted.
“We can’t confirm or deny what the mother said until we complete our investigation,” Miller said on Monday. “Right now these are allegations but we’ll certainly work closely with CPS and the police and, if anything comes of it, take appropriate actions to ensure the safety of all our students.”