OPS Criticized After Sexual Assault Report
OPS Criticized After Sexual Assault ReportPhoto: Video by kmtv.com
Omaha, NE - Community leaders have a message for Omaha Public Schools: stop being silent about an alleged attempted sexual assault on an 8-year-old girl.
That reported assault happened in February at Belvedere Elementary School, near 38th and Curtis.
The girl's family has hired an attorney. Brian Jorde tells KMTV Action 3 News, the incident happened during recess when three boys were chasing the girl. One pinned her down while another tried to unbutton her shirt.
Jorde says only one teacher was on the playground with 50 children. That teacher didn't notice anything going on, until a fight broke out. Several students witnessed the alleged attack and tried to help the girl; Jorde says some of them were punched and knocked to the ground. He also says the girl's family wasn't notified until five hours later, and the school never called police. The girl's mother is the one who made that phone call.
On Saturday, Tariq Al-Amin will hold a news conference with other community members to call out OPS. "I would hope that they would tighten down the rules and reiterate to the staff, to the principals at all these schools as to how they're supposed to handle the situation," he said.
Al-Amin says he believes the OPS board doesn't take residents in North Omaha seriously. His opponent, current city councilman Ben Gray, questions Al-Amin's motives. "To call a new conference when you don't have all the information sounds more like you're just trying to be on the air rather than actually trying to solve the problem."
"I'm just thankful there's an election coming up," said Al-Amin. "Hopefully the new board will be held more accountable than the old board."
In the meantime, the girl's family has removed her from Belvedere Elementary School. They have her in counseling and are trying to move on to a normal life. Jorde says right now, they don't want to bring legal action. "In a perfect world, OPS will contact us," said Jorde. He also said the board has been silent for two months while the investigation continues.