Charles Co. Parents Taking Playground Assault Issue to Dept. of Justice

"They are not being reprimanded for what they did not do, which was to protect my child"

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A group of parents who say the Charles County school system has not been accountable after an alleged sexual assault on a playground say they are turning to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Three 10-year-old boys allegedly made threats of rape and had inappropriate physical contact with three girls in the fourth grade on the Gale-Bailey Elementary School playground on Oct. 29.

One boy was charged with a fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault. All of the boys remain at the school.

"We want to see change made in the school system. We want kids to know that they can't get away with these things. We want the school system to know that they have to discipline these terrible acts," Seth Heisserman, the father of one of the girls, said Wednesday.

The parents of the girls say their children are still afraid to go back to school.

"Their innocence was taken, and for the school system to continually say this is a game of tag, for them to minimize this and say it wasn't that big of a deal or it was just words -- there's nothing else to call that other than lies," Heisserman said.

A spokesperson with the Charles County school system says they’ve filed a response to the parent’s complaint with DOJ.

“Charles County Public Schools filed an initial response to the complaint on Jan. 6 that explained that the factual allegations set forth in the parents’ complaint are in dispute," the spokesperson said in a statement. "The teachers who were supervising recess on the day in question vehemently deny observing or being made aware of any sexual assault while on the playground.”

Charles County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Hill reassigned Principal Verniece Rorie and Vice Principal Timothy Rosin in November.

But the parents say that's not enough.

"They are not being reprimanded for what they did not do, which was to protect my child," parent Senika Butler said.

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