A disturbing event was uncovered at an elementary school in Plainview, Texas, where a 6-year-old girl was reportedly sexually assaulted by other students. The assault was filmed on a school iPad by a fellow first-grader.
Plainview ISD’s South Elementary has come under fire for their lack of transparency and poor handling of the incident.
The victim’s great aunt, Raquel Castillo Medina, said she noticed behavioral changes in her 6-year-old niece. She asked the child what was wrong.
“We noticed the differences in her demeanor. You know, she wasn’t sleeping well, she had bags under her eyes. She wasn’t eating like she used to eat. She started peeing in the bed. Her stomach was always hurting,” Medina said.
The girl told Medina that a boy had exposed himself to children in the lunch line. She also said she was physically pulled under a table and forced to perform oral sex on a male peer while another student recorded the assault on a school iPad.
When her family asked how long this incident went on, the child told them, “Until they let me go.”
This occurred on Wednesday, April 19. Initially, the child’s parents were not informed.
They were also not told about the iPad recording until the following Friday. It wasn’t until the victim’s aunt went to the school in person on April 27 that she was able to make contact with the investigator.
The family is yet to see the full video of the incident.
In a Facebook livestream from May 1, Medina and the victim’s cousin, Heather Gonzales, detailed what happened to their young family member. They expressed how difficult it has been to get any information from the school administration or the superintendent of the district.
“She was performing an oral act, along with a lot of other kids screaming and encouraging them. Shouting ‘Do it, do it,’” Medina said. “She told us they would try to pull her under the table and that she started hitting the little boy with her poetry book. He wouldn’t stop and he somehow pulled her legs and she fell to the floor he pulled her under the table and then he started pushing her head towards his privates.”
Medina asked the girl what she did next. She replied that she tried warding the boy off by hitting him and saying “stop” numerous times.
“He kept pulling her head towards his privates and his penis went inside her mouth,” Medina tearfully stated.
A day after the incident, the iPad video was reportedly discovered. Plainville’s superintendent, Mr. H.T. Sanchez, said a report was then made and CPS was contacted.
Mrs. Holt was put on administrative leave once the incident was handed over to investigators and CPS.
“How in the world could this happen with the teacher in the room?” Medina asked.
The young victim told her great-aunt that the teacher leaves the room often to go to another room or the hallway.
Medina said her niece and the male student involved in the incident were removed from the classroom and told to go to the principal’s office. It was only after the child told her family what happened that they were able to get any information concerning the event.
Family members of the young victim say they’re frustrated with the lack of transparency from school officials.
Gonzales told KCBD News Channel 11 that they’ve been told “no comment” when the family has pried for more information. Gonzales stressed how difficult it’s been for her cousin to sit close to the children who sexually abused her.
Sanchez said that law enforcement asked them to keep everything confidential until they had full details from those involved in the incident.
That said, this is reportedly not the first incident to have occurred at the school.
Administrators and the school’s principal, Mrs. Hughey, claim no other complaints of bullying or “sexual occurrences” have been made during the year. However, Medina and Gonzales say this is patently false.
They both claim other parents have said they’ve dealt directly with Mrs. Hughey and other school staff to file complaints of bullying and other sexually inappropriate incidents.
According to a 2018 news story this is not the first time a sexual assault has happened in the school district under Mr. Sanchez’s watch.
In 2016, a student reported being sexually abused by her teacher. The school reportedly waited six days before notifying police.
“We want the teacher fired. We want the principal fired. We want the administration fired. Mr. Sanchez out of there,” Medina said during the May 1 live stream.
The great-aunt added that, ironically, the school just won an award for safety.
“Yeah, they keep them safe from predators coming in, but what’s going on inside the classroom? Our teachers are not keeping them safe,” she said. “We have followed the chain of command and we have gotten nowhere.”
She also expressed anger that school officials said “CPS is in charge of this,” but they’re not letting the parents know what happened.
The victim’s cousin, Heather Gonzales, said that the school is “trying to make it seem like this is an isolated event.” She goes on to say that it’s been happening “all year.”
“Had they acted on this stuff from earlier in the year we could have prevented what happened to my cousin,” she said.
The victim’s family have also mentioned other disturbing events taking place at the school.
“A little boy has been taking porn to school and making all the kids watch porn. It’s his dad’s phone. He’s wanting to have all the kids reenact what they’re seeing,” Gonzales said.
She also said that because parents have not been informed about the incident, their children could be subjected to similar behavior.
Gonzales asked those watching the livestream video to call state representative Ken King to demand an investigation into the lack of transparency by school administrators and CPS.
The Publica spoke with Gonzales about how the case has been handled thus far and asked if the girl’s family had seen any paperwork of the incident or any of the video that was recorded of the assault by another classmate.
Gonzales told The Publica, “As of now they have not seen any info and said because it’s under investigation, they refuse to let the guardian see the video.”
“The superintendent’s assertion that he did ‘everything that was required of him’ is disingenuous and a disgraceful attempt to evade responsibility for this egregious failure.”
“We The People, demand a thorough and transparent investigation into this incident and the administration’s handling. We call for immediate disciplinary action against those responsible ad implement more robust measures to ensure the safety and protection of all students in the district,” Ellis’s statement reads. “We demand that justice be served and hope that no other family will have to endure the pain and suffering that this family has experienced due to the negligence and callousness of those entrusted with the care of our children.”
Parents of Plainview ISD received word on Sunday that schools would be canceled on Monday. It is unclear when classes will re-convene.
“Due to misinformation regarding a matter under investigation, we continue to receive threats of violence that are extremely concerning. Our police chief has submitted all of the screenshots to the FBI, DPS, and other relevant law enforcement agencies. We will remain in communication and advise families when we will reconvene classes.”
Parents and concerned citizens have stressed they have and will remain nonviolent and they disavow anyone threatening teachers or the school administration.
A demonstration with around 100 people was held on May 5 at Broadway Park. A second rally is scheduled for May 18 at 6pm during the next Board of Trustees meeting at Plainview ISD complex. Demonstrators intend to demand justice for the victims involved in this case and transparency from the school administration.