CMS vice chair makes first comments six weeks after sex assaults reported
WBTV Investigates: Parents of two five-year-old girls report administrators mishandled daughters’ reports
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board Vice Chair Stephanie Sneed made the first comments in response to recent reports by two five-year-old girls that they were sexually assaulted by male classmates.
The comments came at the end of Tuesday night’s board meeting, during a time for board members to speak on any topics they choose.
Sneed was the only board member to address the recent reports and, to date, is the only board member to volunteer comments on the reports and how the school district handled the cases.
“I just want you to know that I hear you, that I’m a parent,” Sneed’s remarks began.
“Because of federal regulations I cannot respond to those matters, but I hear you.”
Sneed did not specify which federal regulations prevented her or other board members from commenting on the district’s handling of reported sexual assaults.
A federal law known as Title IX requires school districts to take certain steps to accommodate students any time they report sexual violence.
But in the case of the first five year old--who reported being sexually assaulted while riding the school bus to Croft Community School--she was seated next to the boy she reported assaulting her the next time she rode the bus.
In the case of the second five year old--who reported being sexually assaulted while waiting for the school bus--administrators did not file a Title IX report and did not call police; both are required by district policy.
During her remarks on Tuesday, Sneed said most of the information she had about the incidents had come from media reports. Both cases were first uncovered by WBTV.
“I know that you have a number of questions about these matters that may affect students. I have them too, for many areas but, but we must allow the federal defined procedures to be completed,” Sneed said.
“I am committed to do everything in my power to make sure that the interest of all of our students, especially those that are most vulnerable, is at the forefront of everything that I do.”
WBTV has contacted each board member individually and asked the weigh in on the handling of these cases. So far, none of the other eight board members have responded.
In an interview following WBTV’s report on the first case, interim CMS superintendent Dr. Crystal Hill repeatedly refused to answer questions and ultimately took her microphone off in the middle of the interview and walked out.
The district has not made any comment in response to WBTV’s report on the second five-year-old girl’s case.
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