DENVER — Denver7 discovered Monday it took Cherry Creek Colleges six months to inform the mother and father of a sexual harassment sufferer that their daughter’s federal case was being dismissed.
That delayed response got here regardless that the district admitted the case did rise to the extent of harassment, and the district took corrective motion by itself months in the past.
A number of different households have come ahead alleging a sample of negligence within the district surrounding sexual assault and harassment circumstances.
“That is an epidemic,” mentioned Sarah Butler, mom of 1 sufferer of harassment. “The district isn’t coping with it.”
“It’s not a story,” mentioned Ben Toth, father of the sufferer. “These are issues that occurred – to children. And in our case – an elementary pupil.”
Denver7 first launched you to Butler and Toth final week, they’re a part of a gaggle of oldsters who got here ahead about sexual harassment and sexual assault amongst Cherry Creek college students, incidents that happened each on and off-campus.
“We ended up having to switch my daughter to Elevations full on-line college,” mentioned one other sufferer’s father. “It appeared like the one option to maintain her from being revictimized.”
A number of mother and father declare the district took little to no motion after these incidents to guard the victims.
Then, final Friday – 4 days after Denver7’s preliminary report – a compliance officer with the district despatched Toth and Butler a letter stating partially, “I wrote a dismissal letter and supplied it to the college.”
That was again in December.
The letter goes on to say, “Sadly, I didn’t present the letter of formal dismissal to you. That was an oversight on my half.”
There was no apology within the letter.
“After studying that for the primary time and after ready so lengthy – it was so disheartening and discouraging as a result of I might have by no means thought that the district would simply say, ‘Oh hey, Whoops. We forgot to inform you, however it’s no huge deal,’” Butler mentioned.
Toth and Butler are extra dismayed than ever at what they name utter negligence on many ranges.
“The frequent denominator is the district,” Toth mentioned. “There’s quite a lot of children which have been affected by these assaults of assorted natures and the district’s response is at all times the identical – it’s about nothing.”
Of their case, Toth and Butler’s 7-year-old daughter was proven pornographic phrases on a pc by a male pupil at Antelope Ridge Elementary.
“She didn’t deserve what occurred to her,” Toth mentioned. “And as mother and father, we didn’t get the chance to have conversations along with her on the applicable age.”
Within the letter to the mother and father dated April 29, 2022, which was final Friday, the district admitted the case did rise to the extent of sexual harassment underneath Cherry Creek college board coverage.
The letter says the district did take motion to stop additional harassment, together with disciplinary measures towards college students concerned and a requirement that every one workers is extra accustomed to Title IX and college board harassment insurance policies.
However Toth and Butler wish to reiterate this was by no means concerning the lecturers, however somewhat – district management.
“There are different mothers and dads on the market which might be in the identical boat as us,” Toth mentioned. “We wish the district to have a look at this stuff and say, ‘Hey, pay attention, we might have finished one thing – and we acknowledge that we might have finished one thing. All people else sees it. Why they don’t, we don’t perceive.”
The allegation is that the identical pupil harassed different college students, as nicely.
“Our daughter checked out me and mentioned, ‘So, I’m not the one one?’ And I mentioned, ‘No – you’re not.’ And he or she gave me an enormous hug and mentioned, ‘I’m so unhappy this occurred, however I’m so glad I’m not alone.’”
In a press release to Denver7 Monday afternoon, a district spokesperson mentioned, “We wouldn’t have issues that this can be a systemic challenge. The district fairness compliance officer spoke with the Toth household on the cellphone on November 5, 2021, to advise the household that the allegations didn’t qualify as sexual harassment underneath Title IX and the case was being dismissed.”
However Butler says that was the primary and solely dialog they ever had with the compliance officer after initially reporting the harassment in late October.
Toeth and Butler say they have been advised the district could be again in contact relating to definitive and formal motion, however they obtained no different communication from the compliance officer till final Friday, 4 days after information protection of their story.
“We by no means talked to that particular person once more,” Butler mentioned. “The district goes to level fingers at whomever they’ll as to not be held accountable.”