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High School Suspends 15-Year-Old Who Reported A Sexual Assault — And Made Her Attend 'Assault Prevention' Class

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High School Student

After sitting through a Title IX class during the beginning of her sophomore year at high school, a teenager reported a sexual assault to school officials.

School administrators at Hawthorne Academy High School accused the 15-year-old girl of filing a false report, despite a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department investigation that resulted in charges, and decided to punish her in the worst way.

The high school suspended the student over her sexual assault claims.

Hawthorne Academy High School officials also reportedly ordered her take a class to “prevent” sexual assault.

The unnamed sophomore’s parents were outraged and called WBTV’s Chief Investigative Reporter Nick Ochsner to the scene, revealing that it doesn’t seem like they care all that much.

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Ochsner sent emails and chased several Hawthorne Academy High School officials around the school.

“So, I emailed you last night about the situation at Hawthorne Academy High,” he said as he approached Margaret Marshall, Board Member of CMS District 5 School Board.

“I don’t have any information about it,” was her response.

But this was also the response of several other Hawthorne Academy High School officials — saying they didn’t “comment on student matters.”

However, what they do, is make her attend a class called “Sexual Harassment is Preventable.”

The mother said that “they are making her feel like she is being punished for coming forward.”

Sexual assault claims should be taken very seriously, so when the police discovered the truth and the boy finally confessed, it didn’t matter to CMS.

“'We’re going to have to give her a day of suspension,'" the girl's mother recalled. "I asked the principal, I said, ‘well if the police are telling me that he did do these things, he admitted to them, and that I have the right to press charges, you’re telling me this didn’t happen?'"

"And she said, ‘well, unfortunately, what the law does has nothing to do to do with CMS, so, unfortunately, we have nothing else that we can do about this.’”

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The sophomore shared details with WBTV what exactly the boy had done. That she had been experiencing near-daily harassment from the male student — until it got worse.

“He would, like, come into the bathroom and he would push me into the stall,” the girl said. “He put his hands in my pants and then he was like touching my breasts.”

The amount of disappointment that came from the mother afterward was immeasurable, saying that she “had faith in CMS, that they were going to do right by my daughter,” she said. “So when I got that phone call I was hurt.”

They apparently couldn’t find any evidence that the boy had done what her daughter said he did, even though the police later did.

“CMS says they take sexual assaults seriously,” Ochsner asks the mother. “They take Title IX seriously. They want students to report these instances. What would you say to that?”

“I would say that it’s a lie,” she said. “They don’t. They don’t have your children’s back.”

She’s worried that what happened with her daughter will prevent kids from reporting these instances in the future.

“That scares me because she told me how hard it was for her to come out and tell this story to me to the school, to the police,” the mother said.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.