A North Carolina woman says her 5-year-old son was sexually abused in the back of an elementary school bus by a group of 10-year-olds.
The mother says that on Sept. 11 her son was on his way home from W.G. Pearson Magnet Elementary School when a group of 10-year-olds that he didn’t know took his shoes, pulled his pants down and assaulted him. One student allegedly put his foot on her son’s stomach and another put a foot on his neck and told him he had to do it, The Durham News reported.
A local newspaper recently reported on the incident after the mother, who was not identified, told reporters she is worried the school isn’t responding to the complaint appropriately.
Two girls on the bus reportedly witnessed the assault and told the boy’s grandmother what happened when she picked him up at the bus stop.
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“They hit him,” the mother told The Durham News.
When she reported the incident, the mother says school officials seemed to be more focused on what her son was doing in the back of the bus. She was told they would contact police, but when she went to the station the following day, police had no record of the incident. She filed the report herself.
“My son is the victim here, and this is going to stick with him forever,” she said. “That is more what is worrying for me.”
Chrissy Pearson, chief communications officer for Durham Public Schools, says school administrators are investigating the incident.
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"Any allegations of this sort are taken very seriously, and our full attention is given to investigating this thoroughly," Pearson said. "Any time one of our students reports misconduct on a school bus or anywhere else, we act quickly, as our students' health and safety are our top priority."
The mother told The Durham News that the school didn’t act until Sept. 24, when the local newspaper published her story.
Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said in a statement Wednesday that the case is being investigated by the Special Victims Unit “with great care and sensitivity to find out what happened,” WRAL reported.
"As warranted, appropriate law enforcement action will be taken and support services provided to help ensure the welfare of all minors involved," Lopez said.