RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Concerned parents met with school administrators in Riverside Thursday to discuss the disturbing allegations involving the sexual assault of a 3rd grader at the hands of another 3rd grader.
On Wednesday, the RUSD said the alleged assault suspect had been suspended and faced expulsion from Adams Elementary School.
The male student allegedly assaulted another male student in the classroom and in the bathroom on several occasions over the past year and a half.
Two teachers, who said they didn’t witness anything inappropriate in their classrooms, were placed on administrative leave while the charges are investigated — standard procedure.
Thursday evening, KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz spoke to parents and school officials who attended the meeting. Video cameras were not allowed inside the meeting but Cruz said the feelings of parents were mixed in the largely-attended gathering.
“I’m questioning the integrity of this school and the district that’s the problem,” said parent Lindsey Zinn.
At least one parent said she was more concerned with fixing the situation than placing blame on the school.
“We should be with the principal not against him on the situation and figure out a solution to the problem,” said parent Emily Johnson.
She added that there was “a whole bunch of yelling and arguing.”
Principal Paul Defoe answered questions from parents.
“I honestly don’t blame the teachers. I don’t blame none of the school people and people were saying some ridiculous stuff like sending adults to the bathroom with the kids. To me that’s worse. I think you should go one at a time,” said parent Lizette Alvarez.
“The principal assured them [the parents] that they are safe at this school and that we do everything we can to insure safety,” Jacqueline Paul, district spokesperson.
Parent Zinn has a way to assure safety.
“I would like to see the bathrooms torn down and bathrooms that are facing the playground so when the children don’t have a buddy — cause they’re out playing — they are safe,” said Zinn.