Edison students allege multiple incidents of sexual abuse in district schools
The Edison school superintendent says he is committed to doing better to address allegations of sexual abuse and assault after multiple female students told their personal experiences during a Board of Education meeting.
The girls took the podium one by one this week to address the board and tell of their experiences over the years.
“At 15 years old, I was sexually assaulted by another student. At 19 today, I am dealing with the effects of that sexual assault,” said one student.
“I as sexually assaulted in my chemistry class,” said another.
The girls are all recent graduates or current students. They say they are telling their stories to force change.
“I feel uncomfortable in this school, but I am here because don't want what happened to me to happen to another human being,” said a student.
They claim the climate at Edison high schools has allowed for the behavior. They say their accusations are often ignored, and when not – the punishment is mild, if at all. They say their alleged abusers are sometimes removed from their classes but are also allowed to remain in school.
“Victims should not be subject to learning in fear while their assaulters can exist freely,” said one student.
“I am asking the board to look at how sexual assaults are handled at the high school, looking for the board to figure out how to make a broken system more effective,” said a student.
Superintendent Bernard Bragen, Jr. has sent a letter home to parents addressing the allegations.
The letter stated in part that this behavior is “incompatible with our expectations for students and the climate and culture in our schools and our community.
Bragen says the district will form a committee of students, staff and parents to look at the issue and to determine how to improve, prevent incidents, empower students and support victims.