Lathrop Elementary Parents On Edge After Reported Incident In Girls Bathroom
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LATHROP (CBS13) – A young student reported an attack in the girls bathroom during an after-school program, and parents say they’ve been left in the dark for more than a week about the incident at Lathrop Elementary School.
The district notified parents almost immediately, but that was 12 days ago. Tuesday, school officials were meeting with parents to address their concerns.
An afternoon meeting was attended by about a dozen parents who gathered with the principal to express concerns and learn about what’s being done to keeps students safe in light of the reported attack.
Administrators aren’t saying much – only that a third grade girl in one of three after-school programs reported a man somehow made his way into the girls bathroom.
“He made an inappropriate gesture to her and may have had her touch him, but it’s all still under investigation,” Principal David Silveira said.
Detectives are investigating the serious allegations and tell CBS13 they don’t have a good description of the man.
They continue to question the little girl and other witnesses.
The reported assault has left parents on edge and yearning for more information about the possible bathroom attack.
“I was really upset to get a phone call with just a little bit of information,” parent Yuvie Ortega said. “We don’t want to know exactly what happened, but we want to know when we leave our kids there in the future, our kids will be safe.”
Parents are asking administrators to install security cameras on the elementary school campus, a move the principal says will cost more than $70,000.
Parents say they are willing to fundraise and help apply for grants.
“Everybody wants to do car washes, rummage sales,” Ortega said. “We are willing as parents to do anything we can to protect our children and everybody else’s children.”
A larger crowd attended a second meeting at 7 p.m., but even then some parents walked away frustrated.
“I’m still concerned about the incident,” parent Sandra Garcia said. “I have two little ones. I want to know exactly what happened on that incident.”
The school principal says a phone message about the alleged incident went out that day. They also had a staff meeting and held a school assembly to remind students how to handle strangers.
Now kids are walking in pairs to the bathroom.
But parents want more assurances the school is safe.
“They’re not telling us what’s going on,” one parent said. “They are not initiating information.
“How did he get on campus and why was he on campus? Why wasn’t there a bathroom sweep after school to check the bathrooms?” parent Carmen Rangel said.
But again investigators say that’s all part of the ongoing investigation.
That brings little comfort to Sandra, who just wants to protect her children.
“I bring them to school and I want to know that they are in a safe place,” she said.