Tbatb via Wikimedia Commons

School officials in Alexandria’s public school system said they followed procedure, including not informing parents, following the discovery of a violent sexual assault that occurred at the Minnie Howard campus, a satellite of Alexandria City High School that serves ninth-graders.

According to FOIA documents obtained by Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), the police arrested a 14-year-old suspect in early December for “aggravated sexua[l] battery, rape, and forcible sodomy.” The incident took place in October 2021 and while the district’s board members, superintendent, mayor and the Alexandria police were informed, parents were left in the dark about the incident.

On Oct. 6, ACPS Superintendent Gregory Hutching emailed the board’s nine members with the subject line “Potential Sexual Assault.”:

“FYI there is a potential sexual assault of a student by other students this afternoon at [Minnie Howard],” the email reportedly read. “The student has been taken to the hospital and [Alexandria Police Department] is working through the investigation. No more details at this time.”

Parents of students at the school are outraged. One parent, Molly Kaiman, a Alexandria City Public Schools parent, had this to say:

“Parents had zero communication regarding this incident. This crime should scare parents. If parents knew what had happened, parents could have necessary talks with their children and pressure the school to increase safety,” and adding that she feels “misled, angry, [and] scared” by the way this information was kept from parents.