**Update** Thanks Glenn Reynolds for the INSTALANCHE!
This press release crossed my desk this morning. Apparently, the White House and the US Department of Education didn’t check to make sure that their “model” program knew how to report suspected abuse.
As I have noted before, child-on-child abuse is just as damaging as any other kind of child sexual abuse and should NEVER be covered up.
Sac Lawsuit: “Model” Educational Program Didn’t Report Sexual Abuse
Six-Year-Old Violently Molested by 10-Year-Old
White House-Praised Program Knew of Risk, Did Nothing
Regulators Cited After School Program for “lack of supervision” in Restrooms
In a lawsuit filed last month, the mother of a 6-year-old victim of child sex abuse charges that officials at a popular Sacramento-area after school program knew that a 10-year-old student had a history of sexually provocative behavior at the school, but did not inform parents or Child Protective Services of the danger.
The suit, filed in Placer County Superior Court, says that STAR NOVA, an afterschool program operating at Twelve Bridges Elementary, had evidence that a 10-year-old student in the program had engaged in dangerous behaviors, including making other children undress, sexually-explicit language, and violence. Instead of intervening and contacting Child and Protective Services or law enforcement, school administrators did nothing to stop the child.
In March 2013, the lawsuit says, the now emboldened 10-year-old took the six-year-old special needs student into the bathroom, where he forcibly undressed the younger boy and sexually assaulted him. The victim reported the abuse to his mother, who informed officials at Twelve Bridges Elementary. School officials filed a report with CPS that day. As a result of an investigation by Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division, the STAR NOVA Program was cited with a civil penalty and required to inform all new and returning parents of the allegations, which Social Services deemed credible.
Twelve Bridges Elementary is in the West Placer Unified School District. Because the 10-year-old is a minor, his identity and current situation are confidential.
“STAR NOVA boasts that it was selected as a model program by the White House and U.S. Department of Education. Yet, when a child in the program exhibited dangerous sexual behavior, STAR NOVA turned a blind eye.” said Dr. Joseph C. George, an attorney for the victim. “As a result, an extremely vulnerable six-year-old special needs child was sexually assaulted.”
He also praised the victim in this case.
“It is extremely difficult for a child to talk about sexual violence,” George said. “The fact that this child told his mother about the abuse is the only reason a sexually violent child was stopped. STAR NOVA administrators could have intervened and saved the victim and others from the trauma of abuse, but they didn’t. Organizations like that should not be allowed to supervise children.”
You can read the lawsuit here .