Mom frustrated over school system’s response to child assault claim


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A mother of a second grader at Blair Elementary School in New Hanover County says her daughter was inappropriately touched by a classmate.

The girl’s mother says this happened nearly a month ago and not enough has been done about it.

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“I was sickened,” she said to WWAY. “I was disgusted.”

The mom, who wants to remain anonymous, says on October 8 her 8-year-old came home school angry and depressed, later saying her classmate had touched her inappropriately.

After hearing that, the mom said she immediately called school’s principal and filed a police report.

“We demanded something be done,” she said.

Her daughter was moved into a new classroom, but the mother says the boy continued to harass her daughter.

“I ended up contacting Jarelle Lewis,” the mom said.

Lewis is the Title IX director for New Hanover County Schools, who she says told her there wasn’t much that could be done.

“Unless there’s evidence, like physical evidence, there was nothing he was going to do because it isn’t their job to reprimand students,” she said.

The mother kept pushing and says Lewis finally issued what’s called a “Stay Away Agreement,” meaning the kids had to stay away from each other at school.

But when she saw the agreement, she said the boy was listed as the victim and they had her daughter sign it without the mom’s knowledge or permission.

“8 year olds can’t be held responsible for anything to sign,” the mom said. “She doesn’t even know cursive. She had to write her name in chicken scratch. It was ridiculous.”

The mother says she also received a document stating the school had concluded their investigation finding that the boy was not responsible for what had happened. This was before the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Social Services had even begun their investigations.

At this time, DSS is still investigating the incident.

New Hanover County Schools say they value the welfare of their students but they cannot comment on student incidents.