A Columbia middle school investigation found an incident where a male sixth grader told a female sixth grader he was going “to rape her” was in violation of the school system’s sexual discrimination policy, according to a letter obtained by the Howard County Times.
The 11-year-old female Lake Elkhorn Middle School student wrote the male student “said he was gonna rape me when I was in the hallway,” according to the student statement form she filled out March 13.
The alleged victim’s mother said she and her husband were shocked when they received a letter notifying them of the incident in late March. They said they always ask their children, “How was your day at school?” but that their daughter had not shared the incident with them.
The Howard County Times does not identify victims of sexual assault.
The letter, sent from Ron Capurso, a sixth grade administrator at Lake Elkhorn Middle, said that after receiving the complaint on March 14, the investigation concluded five days later on March 19. The female student, as well as “additional students and staff,” were interviewed.
During the investigation, it was found there was a violation in Howard schools policy regarding sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, according to the letter.
“The purpose of this policy is to set clear expectations for behaviors that promote an inclusive and equitable environment and provide guidelines for students, employees, and third parties in preventing, recognizing, reporting and addressing instances of sexual misconduct in accordance with this policy and with local, state, and federal requirements,” the policy states.
In response to the violation, “corrective action” was taken by the school system, according to the letter. The action was taken through the school system’s student discipline policy and the student code of conduct.
The alleged victim’s mother said she and her husband were “disappointed that the school did not reach out initially.”
“The school system did not handle the situation properly,” she said.
A schools spokesman declined to comment further on the incident.
Capurso wrote in the letter that the alleged victim “should have no contact with the respondent with includes contact via social media.”
However, according to the alleged victim’s mother, her daughter told her she was still sitting at the same table with the male student during school since the incident.
In an email to Capurso, the alleged victim’s father wrote it was his understanding his daughter would only be in the same class with the other student “if another adult other than the teacher would be supervising him.”
Over the past few months, the alleged victim’s mother said her daughter’s grades have suffered since the incident.
“She has tanked in her grades,” she said. “She is not the same student.”
Normally an A and B student, her daughter has been receiving C’s. Her daughter did not receive the Certificate of Achievement Award from the Council of Elders of the Black Community of Howard County, a certificate she has received for several years.
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The alleged victim’s mother said her daughter will transfer to a new Howard middle school for the upcoming academic year.