Student's alleged rape experience ignored by teacher
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- The State Attorney's Office is investigating an alleged rape after a special needs student wrote about the experience in a classroom essay that was ignored by teachers.
What started as a school assignment for a special needs student at Western High School in Davie more then a year and a half ago has become an ongoing investigation involving Broward Public Schools after it failed to report the possible rape. "Why would an adult read such a horrific thing that a child is writing and not concern them enough to even address the parent?" said the victim's mother.
The mothers face was not shown on camera to protect the student's identity. "Instead of getting help, the situation was ignored," said the mom.
The assignment asked the students to write about an experience that changed the way they think. It also asked them to provide specifics.
The victim wrote in part:
"I also learned my lesson by dating a guy that was such a gentlemen was a real [expletive.]"
"He used me for his own sexual needs."
"He pushed me into a closet and raped me, and ever since that day I've had big trust issues with guys."
The mother said, "She reported a rape, a date rape through an essay assignment at school."
The teacher read the essay and gave her an 80 percent. She said the paper was, "Very detailed but needed to be longer."
It is a felony not to report a suspected abuse. Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said, "If the staff did not act in a timely fashion, then, yeah, we didn't do our job, and we did let down one of our students."
The student's mother said it was her daughter's way of crying for help. "That was how my daughter was able to speak out about this situation and that was her way of crying out for help."
The State Attorneys Office released a statement, which reads: "This is an ongoing case, and we're not in a position to discuss it."
Reporter: "Did the district let this girl down?"
Runcie: "You know, we didn't respond when we should, so, yeah, I believe as we go through and see the results of the investigation it can certainly well be the case."
The boy mentioned in the essay was not charged with the crime.
At this point, no teacher is facing any charges, but school officials said this can change.
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