ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — The mother of an Arundel High School student who was reportedly sexually assaulted at a homecoming dance earlier this year took her criticism of school leaders’ handling of the incident to the school board Wednesday night.
The assault reportedly happened September 28, but the school did not send home a letter about it until Monday.
At Wednesday’s board meeting, the mother, who WJZ is not identifying to protect the victim, said she was outraged over how everything was handled.
“A boy came up behind her, reached his arm around her waist, put his hand under the front of her dress and grabbed her over her undergarment,” she told board members.
School officials said after the student told administrators about the incident, police and school staff searched the dance for a suspect but did not find one.
The victim’s mother said she requested a letter be sent out asking anyone with information to come forward, but that didn’t happen until she made a public plea on Facebook late last week.
She now says the district needs to change its policies.
“There aren’t protocols, that’s what’s most frustrating and that’s most likely why we had such a huge breakdown in kids getting the resources and the help they need,” she said.
In the letter Arundel High School sent out Monday, Principal Gina Davenport said school administrators followed all appropriate protocols and conducted a thorough investigation.
She also wrote that the initial decision not to send a letter home to students “was based on the sensitive nature of the case, a desire to protect and continue to support the victim, and the scarcity of information about a suspect.”
Superintendent Dr. George Arlotto said if needed, the district will work to improve its policies on handling reported sexual assaults.
“We have protocols that we follow that worked in the past, if something hadn’t worked in this case, I want to learn from it,” he said.
Police are investigating the incident; anyone with information is asked to contact them.