Council member disturbed by rape investigation at middle school - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Council member disturbed by rape investigation at middle school

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis City Council member is calling for action after a rape investigation at Georgian Hills Junior High School.

"I was shocked.  It was very disturbing," said Memphis City Council member Wanda Halbert.  "The mere allegation that a child was raped inside of one of our schools."

Halbert said she wants to know how a 13-year-old special needs student at the school was out of sight long enough to be sexually assaulted by a classmate.

The alleged attack occurred Monday when a 13-year-old male student was sexually assaulted in a school bathroom by a 14-year-old classmate, who is also classified as a special needs student.

After the incident was reported to a teacher on Tuesday, the victim was escorted by a parent to the Rape Crisis Center.

"We want to make sure that we're doing everything in our power to protect all students who are under our care," said Memphis City School Board Commissioner Stephanie Gatewood.

A police investigation is raising questions about whether the school district needs to strengthen it's policies that protect students enrolled in resource classes.

"We continue to run into a number of problems," said Halbert.

Halbert said she worries her concerns will get buried in a confusing effort to merge city and county schools.

"I have yet to hear, you know, exactly how are we going to deal with the challenges presented in the special needs area," said Halbert.

"Transition or no transition, there are basic minimums that we cannot forego, and safety is one of them," said Gatewood.

So far no charges have been filed.  Memphis City Schools said it cannot discuss the case while it is under investigation.

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