Marbury, MD- On October 30, 2019, three fourth-grade girls reported to their teachers and later that day, the vice-principal that they had been sexually assaulted on the playground during a game of tag with other friends at Gale-Bailey Elementary School. In a written statement, Victim A reportedly told the teacher at recess.
“They complained to a group of teachers who were sitting at a table looking at their phones. The teachers took no action and instead simply told them to “stay away from the boys.”
In the statement of the incident, signed by Victim A and Vice-Principal Timothy J. Rosin, she states they were playing a game of tag with several other kids at recess, when three other 4th grade boys( not clear whether they were involved in the game of tag or not) jumped off the top of a tube and pushed the girls into the tube, making inappropriate sexual contact with at least one of the victims.
One girl was allegedly tied up and attacked as the boy simulated rape over her clothing.
At this point, Victim A states one of the suspects used extremely graphic words to tell her what he was going to do to her, and what sexual acts he was going to make her do.
According to the Father of Victim A, the parents of the victims were notified when the girls got home. He immediately called the Vice Principal, who according to the father’s statement, said: ” he did not know the severity of the incident”. “How could that be if you have their statements? My daughter was sexually assaulted at school, the school never notified me as a parent”.
The next day, Father A contacted the School Resource Officer(SRO) who said he was not the primary officer for that school but would notify the proper SRO. Father A said he was on his way to the school. When he arrived he says that both SRO’s and the Vice-Principal were talking and he was told they would be with him as soon as they were all “caught up to speed”.
The Primary SRO and Father A spoke for some time, and the SRO then went to speak with the Principal. After some time the SRO came back and said they had come up with a solution to “resolve” the matter. The boys suspected of the assaults were going to be moved to the other side of the classroom, and they would lose recess for two(2) weeks. Father A replied,” that is all they get for sexual assault?” The Principal and Vice-Principal reportedly replied that their hands were tied by State and Federal law.
Kathrine O’Malley-Simpson, Communications Director for Charles County Public Schools responded to The Southern Maryland Chronicle about disciplinary action taken by the Principal, “Once the police investigation was complete, the principal imposed disciplinary consequences as outlined in the school system’s Code of Student Conduct and appropriate to the level of each child’s involvement. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits school employees from releasing information about specific students and disciplinary actions. The Code of Student Conduct(external link) has a range of consequences for sexual activity at a school, which can be found on page 19 and ranges from a Level 2, which is classroom support and corrective responses, to a Level 5, which includes support, extended out-of-school removal and referral responses.
The police have sole authority to determine if or when a person is criminally charged.
Father A asked for his daughter, Victim A to be removed from class immediately, as he did not feel safe with her in there with the accused. None of the victims have returned to the school since the incident.
Father A reached out to Superindent Kimberely Hill to request a meeting. In the days that followed several emails and a face-to-face meeting took place. The Southern Maryland Chronicle is in possession of the Emails, along with Victim A’s statement(redacted) and Father A’s statement.
Father A also learned the SRO completed the investigation and a 10-year-old boy was charged with 2nd-Degree Assault and 4th-Degree Sex Offense. The suspect was criminally charged, was not arrested, and is not in custody at this time.
The other two boys were moved into a different classroom. Father A questioned why the boys were moved into a classroom with one of the victims, whereas the Vice-Principal reportedly said, she is only a witness. When asked why the accused were allowed in the classroom with the alleged victims O’Malley-Simpson says,” This is not the way this type of case should be handled and the individuals involved in making that decision are being retrained in the proper procedures and responses.”
Father A reports that later that day, Victim B was met with death threats by one of the accused and that he was going to “kill her and her family for “ratting out his friends.” O’Malley-Simpson says the SRO is continuing the investigation into this report of threats.
Also, noted in Father A’s statement was one of the accused was on the bus with a victim that afternoon and forcefully kissed her.
A week later, Father A inquired about the status of these threats and the SRO said he was just notified of them.
According to Father A, the entire fourth-grade was given a sexual misconduct lesson and that no parental consent was needed.
This statement was received from Father A after two National News outlets published briefs articles overnight:
STATEMENT FROM VICTIMS PARENTS – BECAUSE IT WASNT JUST TAG AS STATED BY NEWS and CCPS – GALE BAILEY ELEMENTARY 4th grade SEXUAL ASSAULT
“The Charles County school system statement completely misrepresents what occurred to our daughters at Gale-Bailey Elementary school. On October 30, our three daughters were repeatedly threatened at recess by a group of boys who threatened to attack and rape them.
They complained to a group of teachers who were sitting at a table looking at their phones. The teachers took no action and instead simply told them to “stay away from the boys.” Within ten minutes, the girls were attacked. One girl was tied up and was attacked as the boy simulated rape over her clothing. The girls were placed near their attackers on the bus ride home that night and in the school building that day. The school failed to notify the parents or the school community. No action was taken until a parent called a school resource officer.
This has been extremely traumatizing for these girls. One girl does not sleep, cries constantly and is in counseling. The Charles County school system has attempted to cover this up from the beginning. Calling this a “game of tag” is completely false and demeaning to our girls. It is clear they do not take seriously the safety of these girls.
The school system needs to take action to remove the leadership, teachers, and students who were involved in this. “
The Southern Maryland Chronicle is still investigating the allegations and will speak with anyone directly involved or officials who wish to add more information. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a developing story.