Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gaps in the Garfield Case

This is a lengthy post and has new information so I urge you to read to the end.

Gaps abound in the Garfield case.  You can see this just from the Times' story this morning on last night's School Board election.  (And welcome Times to this story - very late to it, no?)

Some have suggested that the Times article is slanted?  I would say it is underwritten and has several parts wrong.  I can say that just from a cursory reading of it.  (The Times is not allowing comments but I think that is their policy on rape cases as the comments can get very unpleasant.)

Update 1: the girl did not go back to Garfield as a student.  From an e-mail from her parents:

One point, she never returned to GHS. the chat you likely read referred to going to GHS after school to see friends. She then had a huge melt down concerning the retaliation.

 The District granted her a school transfer with rape as the basis (we have that document), so they know she was raped.  The 504 coordinator, Rusimovic, ceased communicating so we never were told the accommodations she could have for PTSD.  This is detailed in the staff complaint posted on leaks.  Also the OCR complaint posted on July 16 on our FB page. Rusimovic's refusal to explain accommodations earned her a part in the federal investigation which is investigating the "alleged failure to provide your daughter with a Section 504 plan."


end of update 1.
 
Another issue - I am trying to get a response from the family on the issue of why they did not give the district copies of the Parks Service investigation and FBI investigation. 
The district continues to use that against the family, saying it made their investigation incomplete. 

Update 2:
The District was denied access to the records and we were initially concerned about the legality of providing materials they couldn't obtain.

The medical records were rolled into the report.  Owing to the victim's age, the law states she must give permission to hand them over.  She was in another state, deep into therapy, discussing this was contraindicated, and the whole prospect of others knowing about her body  ("private parts") was overwhelming, as we wrote the District numerous times.

In its typical disregard for the law, the District continued demanding these reports, thereby requiring us to break the law.


end of update 2.

That is only partially true because the district was NOT doing a criminal investigation - they were trying to figure out what happened - I believe - primarily to find out why district policies either failed or were not followed.  The district has no authority to do a criminal investigation and while it might have been helpful to cross-reference what staff told Parks and the FBI (and then what staff told the district's investigator), it wasn't altogether needed.

As well, last night at least two Directors cryptically said there was more to the case than the public knows and implied that they knew other information.

I find that troubling because if they didn't see the FBI/Parks Service reports AND had only read the district's investigation, then does that mean the district's investigation was not publicly fully released?   Or were they given other information not in the investigation? 

Either way, I'm not sure how they can keep that info from the public unless it is covered under FERPA or HIPAA.  There's no on-going criminal investigation. 
To note, a petition with 2300 signatures was presented to the Board last night in support of a new principal for Garfield.  I was quite surprised when Director Peters said it was an on-line petition through a national petition group and so had signatures from around the country who may have signed just because of the nature of the incident (and not Mr. Howard's work).  I was kind of surprised at this because, while that may be true, Garfield alum are scattered far and wide and would likely have heard of this effort.

I was at the Audit&Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday.  Ron English, lead legal counsel, brought forth a document, "Legal Action Log Title IX Issues."  (This came up from an agenda item Audit Work Plan for FY 15.) (I will try to scan this and put up a link.)

It's a chart of Title IX items and their status.  The first three are about this Garfield field trip rape case.  The first one is the OSPI hearing on the parents' appeal of the Board decision on November 1. 2014.   Then there is an Office of Civil Rights item about "Negotiate Resolution Agreement."  Then there is "incorporate OCR suggestions into policy 3208, clarify management roles."  The initial draft of this is to be done by tomorrow.

There is also a notation that at the Summer Leadership Institute (for principals mostly) held last week, they were to have 15 minutes on the new Crisis Response Team (although this document says it might be called Sensitive Issue Team).  The status says "Done?"  Apparently no one knows.

They are to select and train a new Title IX officer by September 1.

There is "Identify Compliance Coordinators" with the notation, "Need for various substantive areas; do we need for each secondary school?"  I'd say - yes.

There were seven (7) Civil Rights Findings from OSPI that the district responded to and were approved by OSPI on 8/4/14.

Speaking of this new Crisis Response Team brings me to a private conversation I had with lead counsel, Ron English, on Tuesday.  He and I stepped out of the A&F meeting to talk about the Title IX issues.

(I had sent him an e-mail during the meeting, asking to talk about these issues.  He came over, sat next to me and said, "How about now?"  Naturally, I had no prepared questions but yes, it was a good opportunity so I said yes and we left the room.)

What followed was an awkward conversation because he needed to be quite careful and precise in his statements.

What I tweeted when he was speaking at the A&F meeting was this, based on his statements during the meeting:
Seattle Scls' legal counsel admits "deficiency" in Title IX oversight/enforcement esp around incidents of sexual harassment.

I told him what I tweeted and he said that "the district was doing a comprehensive review to improve efficiencies."

What was troubling about the discussion was what he knew and from whom.  There was not sure on some issues and frankly, I think he probably was called in later than he should have been.

He was uncertain about the processing for the chaperones.

I asked him who told him that the FBI said for the district NOT to do any investigation while the FBI was doing theirs.  He said Ted Howard, the principal at Garfield.  (A KIRO producer last night told me that while the FBI would make no comment to her on the specific case, that they DID say that they would not have told any other entity not to do their own investigation.

I also note that it seems very unlikely that the FBI would have been in contact with Principal Howard and no one else in the district.

He said no, he did not know who the Title IX officer is and that the existing superintendent procedure had a job title that did not exist anymore.

I asked him about teachers bringing their own children (not in the school group) along on overnight field trips.  He said he didn't know for certain if that was addressed in any procedure.  

He said the response to these types of incidents "needs to be better" and that they are doing a general upgrade of chaperoning procedures.  He said a Critical Response Team was being formed with one person from five different departments - HR, Legal, C&I, Ops and Communications.  

I then asked him, okay, so if an incident arises, who should a principal call?  He said, "Their Ex Director."  I was startled by this answer because if you are a principal who believes a crisis event has occurred at your school or on a school-sponsored trip/event, why would the principal go to the Ex Director?  He said, "Because that's their boss."

And here's right where this new CRT falls apart.  When you have to go up the food chain, my experience is that people start substituting their OWN judgment, rather than following procedure.  One Ex Director might listen and think it doesn't rise to a crisis while another might.

If there is an event that a principal judges to be a crisis, there should be a contact person on the CRT that the principal goes to directly.

So I will attempt to do what I had hoped last night to hear a single Director say they would do - I am going to try to track the month-by-month activities of the effort by the district.  I want to try to find out what the progress is, when trainings occurred, who is on the Crisis response team, etc. 

Frankly, I don't really have time to do this.  But I am so deeply troubled by this issue that I feel like someone needs to be doing it.

In summary, I cannot just take at face value what the district says it is doing.  I have heard this one too many times.

46 comments:

mirmac1 said...

Melissa, you are taking on a tough assignment. IF the district claims transparency and IF it seriously wants to be a model with regards to a CRT and sexual harassment training - then the board should convene a Work Session and invite outside experts (e.g. King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, law enforcement).

I think some Exec Dirs will translate "crisis" into "career damage control". Like you, I have little faith that the district will not turn this "impactful" measures into a political and management fig leaf.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand - Ron English doesn't know who the Title IX Coordinator/Officer is for SPS? Who IS the coordinator?

CR

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I somehow missed the line above about how a new Title IX officer is being selected and trained to start Sept 1. Big relief. My apologies.

CR

Puffin said...

Melissa,
I can try to address a couple of your points.

The victim "went back to Garfield" in the sense that she met some friends on the Garfield campus after school, and learned of the rumors being spread about her. She did not "go back to Garfield" in the sense of attending classes there.

Regarding the cryptic comments made by board members, there were rumors flying among students at Garfield about this incident since Day 1. Those rumors have been repeated enough to have morphed into "facts." Perhaps it's these "facts" that the District does not want to make public. This is pure speculation on my part, but there is an undercurrent here (besides protecting liability) that is causing the administration to carefully calibrate its response, lest it fuel a possible uproar at Garfield.

Regarding what the FBI might have told Ted Howard, the FBI and NPS investigators conducted some interviews at Garfield. This is speculation, but they may have told Ted Howard that they wanted to conduct their interviews without interference. He might have interpreted this to mean that the FBI did not want the district to conduct its own investigation. Regardless, Ted Howard should have been aware of the school's Title IX responsibilities. As with other District staff, including the Title IX officer Paul Apostle, he was totally ignorant of them.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks, Puffin. I was unclear about that. (I had been told she HAD gone back to class.)

I think you are being charitable to Mr. Howard.

David said...

So was the district not able to request a report directly from the NPS/FBI? Seems a bit whiny to say the parents wouldn't give it to them...

Anonymous said...

Tragic:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/08/21/mother-finds-seattle-school-district-ignored-numerous-rapes-including-her-daughters/

A Seattle mother who began looking into the Seattle School District after it refused to investigate the alleged rape of her daughter for six months said that she has found “numerous” other sexual assaults that had also been ignored. (more)

-districtWatcher

Jennifer said...

@David,

I agree - that does not seem like the parents' responsibility.

mirmac1 said...

"I don't know" and "I can't recall" are the district's top weasel words when it comes to this case.

Anonymous said...

Melissa,
School Board Director Sharon Peaslee's assertion that there were two separate criminal investigations is not accurate. Two agencies--the National Park Service and the FBI--teamed up to conduct a joint investigation. The NPS case report states that representative from both agencies conducted the interviews. When the parents took the victim to an interview at the FBI office in downtown Seattle, both NPS and FBI investigators were there to interview her. The investigation was carried out jointly. Ms. Peaslee would have known this because she was given documentation dated October 18, 2013. If she was uncertain, she should not have misled the public by swaying there were two criminal investigations that exonerated the assailant.

Ms. Peaslee also had communications from Colin Smith, Chief Ranger connected with the investigation, stating that the failure to prosecute does not mean a rape didn't occur.The District knows the victim was raped and granted her a school transfer with the rape as the basis on the District's paperwork. Unfortunately she was too traumatized to return to any public school and the 504 coordinator refused to communicate about accommodations in a new school. The US Dept of Education, OCR is also investigation the 504 violations.

Family

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Wow. "Director" Carr kicks the Title IX officer position down the road for 2 years and now the district will have one in 2 weeks!

Wow, Howard tells English the FBI said do not investigate and English does not verify!

Lastly if you were the parents of the child would you give the report to English who is their to defend the district?. Hell no.

Melissa Westbrook said...

So according to the district, even via public disclosure, they were not able to obtain the Parks or FBI investigation reports. They asked the parents of the girl for them as the parents were able to get them.

I asked the parents why they did not release them to the district and here's what they said:

"The District was denied access to the records and we were initially concerned about the legality of providing materials they couldn't obtain.

The medical records were rolled into the report. Owing to the victim's age, the law states she must give permission to hand them over. She was in another state, deep into therapy, discussing this was contraindicated, and the whole prospect of others knowing about her body ("private parts") was overwhelming, as we wrote the District numerous times.

In its typical disregard for the law, the District continued demanding these reports, thereby requiring us to break the law."

So the parents, wanting to protect their legal rights and their daughter's privacy, did not release those reports to the district. It makes sense to me.


Anonymous said...

The district's investigation should have focused on what the district and it's representatives did or did not do, not whether or not the sex was consensual or criminal. Did school and district reps follow protocol re: chaperones (enough? right gender? trained? approved?), permission slips for kids (all on file?), teacher supervision (proximity?, approval to bring their own kids?), Title IX compliance, etc. They don't need the FBI/NPS investigation report to do that, nor do they need the girl's medical records.

And following up on mirmac's suggestion that they bring in outside experts, UW might also be a good resource. It sounds like they have a pretty good sexual assault prevention and support program.

HIMSmom

Melissa Westbrook said...

HIMS Mom, your concerns - and whether those procedures/protocols are known and being followed by ALL staff - are my main concerns.

We cannot figure out if a crime was committed. If I was asked, in a civil case, if I thought a crime was committed, I would probably lean yes.

BUT, as parents and community, we should demand a full accounting.

If not, then
1) those involved who work for SPS (and should I name them all? maybe) who were associated with this trip, how do we know they have been retrained?
2) those involved who were to create the investigation and botched it, how do we know that new measures are in place and will be enforce?
3) how do we know that ALL school staff understand what to do before a trip AND if something serious happens?

That's why it matters.

Reader47 said...

HIMSMom has it exactly right - the District chose the wrong avenue - finding and correcting procedural errors were where they could most effectively make a difference in preventing this kind of incident from ever happening again.

Once again, my personal sense from reading the posted docs is they were waaaaaay too concerned with minimizing legal liability. This incident came from a series of fairly minor errors and/or misunderstandings - (in judgement, procedures, and communication), that by themselves were not startling bad - but gathered together snowballed into something much much bigger than it needed to ever be...

color me surprised

Anonymous said...

Still wondering why 911 wasn't called as soon as the rape was alleged.

Wondering

Greenwoody said...

Sharon Peaslee is going to have to resign or not run for re-election after her incredibly damaging and self-sabotaging comments last night. The "ed reformers" were already going to come after her hard and now she's given them a powerful weapon to use against her. It's too bad, because Peaslee has been good on some other key issues, but she has been utterly tone deaf and failed to provide leadership on the rape and Title IX issues. Sharon, for the good of the movement to protect public schools, you need to either make a full apology or you are going to have to resign/announce you're not running for re-election. I'm really sorry that it's come to this.

Anonymous said...

Wondering, have you read anything about this case then you would know it happened on federal lands in a federal park. The Park Rangers were contacted and in turn the FBI were the investigators in this act.

There is no 911 there.

Still wondering how and why people support Ted Howard.

- Reads newspapers

Melissa Westbrook said...

Wondering,please try to put yourself in this girl's shoes.

You are 15 years old, on a field trip and made a terrible mistake in trusting a boy (who raped you). You might go back to your own bed and cry thru the night and then do just what she DID do in the morning.

She went and reported it to the adults. She went to a hospital and had a rape kit taken. She talked to authorities at the Parks Service.

I think she did the best she could at the time.

Anonymous said...

I was referring to the duty of the ADULTS to call authorities (generically referred to 911-sorry) immediately, NOT the student. Reports referred to various actions being taken by the district "immediately" but given what has been published, there seems to have been many serious delays in action. Personally, I think the Feds are as bad as the SSD when it comes to being accountable.

Again, all fault and responsibility lies with the adults and attacker oft the young woman. I am not one to blame the victim.

Wondering

Anonymous said...

She did the best she could and it should have been enough. The school should have protected her right to continue her education and examined why such an "incident" --even the allegation of such an "incident" (their word) was able to happen on a school sponsored field trip. That's the minimum. The fact that the board doesn't get this part is really concerning.

Gen Ed Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks for the clarification, Wondering.

Not Really said...

He said a Critical Response Team was being formed with one person from five different departments - HR, Legal, C&I, Ops and Communications.

I look at that list and think that the CRT's purpose is solely to assist the district in the crisis and nothing for the victim. Added to this CRT needs to be an outside entity dedicated solely and independently to the victim and their family. This entity should have no ties to the district staff. I'm sorry but how can there not be a conflict of interest between the proposed CRT and potential victim of a crime that may implicate the district.

I'm not saying that the district shouldn't do what they need to do to cover themselves legally but if this CRT is meant to demonstrate to the world that they are making sure that something like this doesn't happen again, I'd say they've failed.

Anonymous said...

This episode happened more than a calendar year ago and they were in no hurry to get a new Title IX coordinator, or make the former one be up to speed.

This episode happened more than a year ago and the chaperone rules this past year were lax at multiple SPS schools with seemingly no oversight on compliance from downtown.

This episode happened more than a year ago and the district has not followed up by sponsoring or leading any sort of high school discussions or teacher training on lawful and responsible male-female interaction during school hours and school-sponsored activities.

SPS has worked to cover its posterior legally and that's about all I can see. It updated its chaperoning policy online (wow.)It is now - and only after massive public scrutiny - talking about a task force. (wow. for what. it's obvious what next steps are.)

The district looks about as bad as it ever has. That's saying something.

DistrictWatcher

Anonymous said...

Why does Ted Howard get to get away with so much malfeasance? Is it because the boy (who admitted the victim repeatedly said NO) was one of Ted's "athletes"? This same boy who already had one known event of sexual misconduct in middle school, was allowed, by Ted to repeatedly defame the victim. She was raped a second time, by the treatment she received from
SPS and in particular, Ted Howard.
The same PrinciPAL (not) who watched students at GHS have to take community college classes to complete their graduation requirements while he hired a special teacher for two or was it three, special basketball players?

Un*%#@-believable

Anonymous said...

Additionally, the district is too busy denying that a sexual crime happened to attempt to defend itself against the core issue.

It allowed a climate that enabled horrible things to happen because it had a chaperone policy that was neither strong nor enforced. Has any disciplinary action happened at the teacher, administrative or central level because of this huge lapse in public trust? No.

In case anyone missed it, not only did this sexual incident happen, but also a male was found hiding under a female's bunkbed. Chaos reigned on that trip. It allowed students to move forward with some bad teenage decisions. The district was the enabler of the behavior. It let down the families of this district. If a civil suit can be lodged against the district I hope it happens and happens publicly. If the family ultimately settles with SPS the district will not have institutionally learned a thing.

There needs to never be a field trip so carelessly and callously chaperoned within the SPS system again. Ever.

DistrictWatcher

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

The District and School Board had a plethora of information, at least 1000 pages. The lacked nothing except objectivity.

If people have specific questions about what the district "had" please contact us at stopsexualassaultinhighschool@comcastnet.

Family

Anonymous said...

District Watcher and Others,

Negligence is central to this discussion of the Garfield rape. How do you personally express that to the District? Do you write letters? What do you suggest? I have a vision of the legal department laughing at our intelligent conversations on this site. Yet Ron English isn't getting away with his immoral pronouncements that sex can happen on school trips "under specific circumstances" even when chaperones are performing their duties appropriately. He speaks on behalf of the Superintendent and the School Board. No one repudiated this statement when asked in writing multiple times. No, Ron English dictates to the School Board and when he says to endorse Banda's decision that "no sexual harassment occurred" they CONCUR.

As exhausting as it was to organize a demonstration from Arizona, the School District needs to know this is ONLY THE BEGINNING. I can't wait to see students demonstrating in exchange for community service hours.

Who will join me in this project? We are in our 60s--and we came of age in the '60s. . . this is an endeavor open to anyone, any age, any anything.
Mrs. Miller

Anonymous said...

Wondering,

The victim reported the rape in the morning and was taken to the hospital by the camp staff. She gave a rape kit and was treated for sexual assault. This is not the portrait of consensual sex. When readers request the Oct 18, 2013 documents fronm the District, you will see more than you ever wanted to know. Medical reports are redacted but the District, School Board, and others (including Al-Jaeera who wrote in detail) have seen the gory details. You can even read the assailant's testimony of the rape (redacted) So has Kiro 7 and the Seattle Times seen this information!

Family

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with the Feds? How could they NOT charge the rapist? Yes, the SSD definitely failed this student. Shame on them. The family should consider civil actions. But what is wrong with the federal investigators? Why didn't they press charges? The rapist admitted his victim said "STOP, NO!" and that he ignored her. If that isn't enough for the feds, what does it take?

Wondering

Charlie Mas said...

Wondering, the prosecutor was not confident of a conviction even with the statements by the boy that you referenced.

Why not? because a lot of Americans would regard the statements and actions by the girl as consent. A lot of Americans don't have a very clear vision of consent. There are some who believe that er going to his room constituted consent. There are some who believe that her willing participation in any sexual activity constituted consent. There are a large number who believe that he got her consent by getting her "to roll with it". The whole idea of consent is gravely misunderstood by a large number of Americans, so a situation like this, which falls into their grey area, does not make a good case for a prosecutor.

The standard of consent that you or I hold is only relevant if we are on the jury.

Anonymous said...

Sadly you are correct Charlie.

HP

Anonymous said...

Thank you Charlie for summarizing the current societal situation.
GHSmom

Reader47 said...

One thing re Mr. English's comment on what "could" happen on a field trip - I believe there is a misunderstanding on what he meant by that - he wasn't saying that "it could happen" in the sense of that's ok, permissible, we'd allow it - but rather, that even in the best of chaperoned circumstances its "possible" that students might get away with having sex.

I agree that it was a very poorly worded statement but not as dastardly as its being made to seem.
Not to excuse all the other stuff that happened - or didn't happen in this sad situation.

Patrick said...

Reads Newspapers, of course there's 911 in parks. It's not 5-minute response like you might get in a city, but the National Park Service rangers respond and often call the FBI to help in serious crimes or when their crime lab expertise is needed. Park Service rangers are law enforcement officers, just like city police or sheriff's deputies.

Patrick said...

Charlie, yes, you are sadly correct. It only takes one of the twelve on a jury to think there was reasonable doubt.

That does not excuse the schools from failure to chaperone, failure to investigate, and failure to prevent the victim from being harassed.

Anonymous said...

I've been a chaperone on four overnight school field trips, and after all this, I don't think I'll ever be an overnight chaperone again. If my child must go overnight, I will go as well for her safety, but not as a chaperone. I'm ok with all overnights being canceled.

Sometimes parent chaperones are in the same room with all the kids, which is great. On other trips, there can be several rooms (hotel or large cabin) with the chaperone down the hall in a separate room. I wouldn't have known if a girl had climbed out the window in one of the rooms, so I couldn't have protected her from taking that kind of action. You have to sleep at some point unless you want parent volunteers to take night-watch shifts. At that point, it isn't worth it.

So that leaves me feeling like I don't want to be responsible (and I don't want any more tragedies to occur) now that we can see how bad things can get. And that is sad because some of the trips are amazing and memorable experiences for the kids.

Garfield Mom

Charlie Mas said...

I share Reader47's understanding of Mr. English's statement. It would have been better if he had said, "Even in the best of chaperoned circumstances it's possible that students might get away with having sex."

But then we have to compare that hypothetical ideal with the actual standard of chaperoning on this trip.

The logic does not follow that since even perfect supervision could be foiled, there is no point in doing even adequate supervision.

Kate Martin said...

I don't like the lack of focus on people who did not follow the policies in place at the time. Renewing interest in existing laws and policies is not the same as holding people accountable for acting outside of laws and policies. The principal seems negligent for not following the field trip policies. The School District seems negligent for not making sure that schools follow field trip policies and Title IX requirements. The School Board seems negligent for not making sure policies are enforced. Any possibly well-meaning attempts by staff or the board to assuage people that comes off sounding like a CYA monologue or that attemps to focus on the crime and not the policy adds insult to injury. Outside of the rape itself, there is an across the board systemic failure to follow policy and hold those that don't follow policy accountable. That applies to Title IX and practically all other areas. Nobody follows policy.

Anonymous said...

Reader 47

Regarding Mr. English's pronouncements about sex on field trips:

Mr. English, The School Board, and the then Superintendent School refused to comment on his statements after multiple requests. We asked English "under what circumstances" and who gets to decide if chaperoning was appropriately followed? No answer.

Even with the District's findings of negligence, the District has never said its chaperoning was inappropriate. The internal investigation found no misconduct.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/237273216/Response-to-Kaiser-Staff-Investigation-Report

In this case, none of the chaperone protocols were followed. Why have chaperones on field trips?

The parents

mirmac1 said...

Here is a live link to the parents' comment:

Response to Kaiser Assault Report REDACTED

I think ANY district "investigation" should include the proviso that "This report is brought to you by a school district trying to avoid accountability or culpability."

In the tens of reports I have reviewed, I can't say I have read one that had a surprise finding. These law firms and "investigators" (with no training) know who signs their paychecks.

As to Kate Martin's comment I want to add, if we are to accept the current line that "We'll do better" then we should expect more than the anemic CRT proposal and Task Force response. I heard yesterday that, based on the testimony at Weds board meeting (brought about by the victim's family) that...well, maybe...there are experts in the community that might know more than the JSCEE CYA crowd. I'll say.

Garfield Mom, I believe I can relate to how you're feeling (to a degree). During the summer we hosted an overnight activity for an extracurricular group that works hard and does great things. I lost a lot of sleep knowing what I know of this matter while still wanting these young people to appreciate the fruits of their accomplishments and have a celebration.

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

To answer your question about the missing information the School Board alluded to:

The District's investigation was superficial and perfunctory. The parents conducted extensive public records searches and uncovered considerable information concerning negligence. The errors and omissions in the District's investigation are addressed along with the assailant's description of the assault in our Oct 18, 2013 response. The School Board had all of this information on October 18, 2013 and now the public does too, except for what was redacted by law. The Oct response is on SPS leaks. The District tried to release this without the attachments that cast it in such a negative light. We caught in in this deception. Glad to share the email with the time stamps that demonstrate this sorry state of affairs.

Mother

Anonymous said...

As a parent of a younger child who was raped by a stranger on her walk home from school this past year, I have to ask, what was the police response in all of this? My experience with the Seattle police was appalling. They were less than supportive, and frankly they lied about the investigation. When they said they had spoken with neighbors in the area of the rape, we found that none of the neighbors had even heard about the incident, let-a-lone been questioned by the police. I was incredibly discouraged by the lack of honesty and transparency. If I thought it wouldn't hurt my child, I would pursue a case against them for their poor investigation and treatment of my daughter, and our family. I feel they were unprofessional - perhaps jumping to the conclusion that the courts would never prosecute. I'm still outraged. On the other hand, I will say that the administration at my daughter's school was incredibly supportive. The AP learned of the rape, called me, and immediately reported it to the police. She ensured that families in the community knew of the incident, calling parents to step up supervision after school. She helped connect my daughter and her older siblings (at a different school) to counseling. Then, she kept in touch to ensure my child's safety and health as she endeavored to attend school. I have no idea how this year will go. This trauma has hurt my kid, but I will say that up to this point, the school staff that were in the know were nothing but supportive. It's heart wrenching to hear about how poorly this case was handled by the school, and the executives. They all need training, and the family needs justice, or at least an apology.

name said...

Reposting for anonymous. Next time make up a name to include w/ your post
Anonymous8/24/14, 7:43 AM
As a parent of a younger child who was raped by a stranger on her walk home from school this past year, I have to ask, what was the police response in all of this? My experience with the Seattle police was appalling. They were less than supportive, and frankly they lied about the investigation. When they said they had spoken with neighbors in the area of the rape, we found that none of the neighbors had even heard about the incident, let-a-lone been questioned by the police. I was incredibly discouraged by the lack of honesty and transparency. If I thought it wouldn't hurt my child, I would pursue a case against them for their poor investigation and treatment of my daughter, and our family. I feel they were unprofessional - perhaps jumping to the conclusion that the courts would never prosecute. I'm still outraged. On the other hand, I will say that the administration at my daughter's school was incredibly supportive. The AP learned of the rape, called me, and immediately reported it to the police. She ensured that families in the community knew of the incident, calling parents to step up supervision after school. She helped connect my daughter and her older siblings (at a different school) to counseling. Then, she kept in touch to ensure my child's safety and health as she endeavored to attend school. I have no idea how this year will go. This trauma has hurt my kid, but I will say that up to this point, the school staff that were in the know were nothing but supportive. It's heart wrenching to hear about how poorly this case was handled by the school, and the executives. They all need training, and the family needs justice, or at least an apology.

Chris said...

There's a petition going to remove Ted Howard as principal of Garfield for his part in this mess (lying to the victim's parents, ignoring the rape, giving preferential treatment to athletes, etc).

https://www.change.org/p/seattle-public-school-board-new-garfield-principal-for-2014-2015-school-year

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous 8/24/14 7:43 am,
I am sorry to hear what happened to your your younger child walking home from school. Is the case still open? Do the police have any leads? Did they not publicize the rape at all? That seems terrible. There is a new police chief who might be interested. There are victim advocates that might be able to help you. Good luck to you and your family.
NEmom