The family of a Homewood-Flossmoor student who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a fellow student Monday at school is considering a lawsuit because the 17-year-old girl is not attending school while the police investigation continues, the family’s attorney said Wednesday.
The girl, a Flossmoor Junior High student, was hospitalized for several hours after the alleged attack, which occurred as students in a theater class were being gathered for rehearsal, but was traumatized by the event, attorney Stephanie White said.
“It’s going to be a long road for her,” White said.
She said a student protest planned for Thursday afternoon at the school, 999 Kedzie Ave., is similar to a March walkout by students concerned about sexual harassment at the school.
White said the alleged attack happened sometime between 7:30 and 8:20 a.m. Monday during theater class. She said the girl did not know the alleged attacker.
“That’s not her friend,” White said.
White said the girl told a friend what happened later Monday morning and was initially seen by the school nurse. The lawyer said that at the moment she does not know any witnesses.
In a statement released by prosecutors, the girl’s mother said the district waited more than an hour after the alleged assault to notify her family, and that when they arrived at the school, it was at least an hour before the girl committed the assault. was released to them.
The girl was taken to a hospital and released Monday night, White said.
The girl’s mother said in a statement that her daughter was “victimized during class for approximately 20 minutes. At that time she was crying. No one came to help her.”
According to the statement, no one at the school “did anything to protect her from this horrific, life-changing event.”
Homewood-Flossmoor District 233 officials said they are working to convene a meeting of parents and administrators to discuss the matter.
Flossmoor police said they were called to the school Monday morning and said a student reported she had been assaulted inside the building earlier in the day.
Police took the student to the police station, but he was later released into the custody of his father pending an investigation, police said.
White said the girl’s family is considering legal action, but “we want to be respectful and patient with the criminal process.”
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White said samples of the girl’s bodily fluids and clothing were taken as part of the investigation, but said she wasn’t sure if it happened at the school or the hospital.
As a prelude to a possible trial, she said, she has asked the district to preserve any related evidence, including statements from potential witnesses and any footage from the school’s surveillance cameras.
The girl’s mother said in a statement that her daughter was not properly supervised by District 233 staff.
“We are calling on Homewood Flossmoor School District 233 to publicly acknowledge that my daughter was sexually assaulted and raped while on their premises during one of their classes, and that they need to properly address this issue to be part of the solution,” — – says the mother’s statement. “Our children must be properly supervised and protected by professional educators.”
District 233 said 85 students gathered after school Thursday to speak with social workers, school counselors and school psychologists.
Topics covered included relationships with school personnel to foster a sense of safety, as well as district safety measures and enforcement, according to the district.