PLAINVIEW, Texas — Concerned parents and family members from the Plainview Independent School District held a protest at Broadway Park on Friday evening after reports of sexual assault at South Elementary School. Parents said they were upset the school did not notify them until they protested.
A concerned family member of the one of the students, Heather Gonzales, previously told EverythingLubbock.com that her 6-year-old family member was forced to perform a sexual act on another student. According to a statement from Plainview ISD, the incident “occurred away from the full vision of the teacher.” The incident was recorded on an iPad, Gonzales said.
Gonzales detailed other instances where a male student exposed himself to young female students, and parents were not notified. She said the school never contacted the family after the incident. According to Gonzales parents were only given details after a protest outside the school’s administration building.
“We know that PISD often sweeps things under the rug,” Gonzales said. “As bad as the details were, we have to tell the details.”
Raquel Medina, the 6-year-old’s aunt, said the school handled the situation “very poorly.”
“I believe strongly that [the school] should be held accountable,” Medina told EverythingLubbock.com. Medina also said the school intimidated the child and questioned her without parent’s consent.
“We’re fighting for justice,” Medina said. “If it were their child, they’d want the same thing.”
A photojournalist at the protest said at least 100 people were present. Family members called for the school’s principal, superintendent and the teacher involved in the incident to be fired.
“People are taking sides and it’s not about sides, it’s about the wellbeing of the kids. I think as a parent, we should want the same for every kid. My kid is safe, your kid is safe – they should be safe together,” Medina told EverythingLubbock.com.
Reports from the Plainview Herald said the elementary school canceled classes on Monday due to threats against staff members. Family members at the protest said this was a move intended to “save face.” Protestors said they did not support violence of any kind.
EverythingLubbock.com reached out to the school for additional information about the threats.
The school district said Child Protective Services was notified and investigating. The involved teacher was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, according to Plainview ISD.
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