There’s new information in the case of a third-grade Omaha student who was the victim of an alleged sexual assault on the playground of Belvedere Elementary School in February.
The 9-year-old girl was allegedly attacked by three third-grade boys, accused of holding her down and trying to take off her clothes during noon recess. More than two months later and a day after Channel 6 News first broke the story, the principal sent a letter home to parents informing them of the February 13th incident at 37th and Curtis.
The attorney for the victim's family says that delay is only one example of how the school mishandled the situation.
The victim's father drove to the school around 5:40 that afternoon to talk to the principal as soon as he heard about the incident. The family's attorney, Brian Jorde, says that's when the principal asked the father to confront a parent of the one of the suspects, which made the father upset. “There were some papers in a plastic divider on her desk. He knocked those off and left the office.”
Jorde says the principal then called police to report the father, not the attack on the playground earlier in the day. “They've got the sexual assault of a child, but instead they call the police on the father and it just seems like the focus and the understanding of what really needs to be done is just completely off in this scenario.”
Later that day of the attack, after 11 p.m., police arrived at the father's home and cited him with disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct.
The family is waiting to see how the school handles the case before filing a lawsuit. The three 9-year-old boys are being evaluated by Lutheran Family Services.
Belvedere students took to the streets Friday to spread the message to end bullying. It was part of the international Defeat The Label campaign. “I had tears in my eyes when I saw the signs and the chanting and how excited they were,” said teacher Anne King. “I'm an emotional person anyway, but it was great to see the energy and what they put into it and the signs they made.”
Organizers said this event had been planned since last year, but the coincidence of the timing was hard to miss.