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School District Mum on Ruby Bridges Sexual Assault on Minor

On Friday, Alameda police arrested a teenager on suspicion of sexual assault on a minor at Ruby Bridges School. (File Photo)

On Friday, Alameda police arrested a teenager on suspicion of sexual assault on a minor at Ruby Bridges Elementary. (File Photo)

Alameda Unified School District officials aren’t saying much about the alleged sexual assault last Friday afternoon of a student at Ruby Bridges School, citing an ongoing police investigation, privacy concerns, and confidential security practices.

According to police logs, and a statement released today from Alameda Unified School District Superintendent Kirsten Vital, a parent walked into the boys bathroom at Ruby Bridges School just before 4:00 p.m. and interrupted an apparent sexual assault on her daughter committed by a teenage suspect.

The suspect was apprehended by police, identified by the parent, and charged with three sexual offenses under California Penal Code Section 288.

The student victim was participating in an after-school program at the time of the alleged assault.

Citing the police investigation, and the age of the alleged victim and perpetrator, school officials are providing few other details, while trying to assure families that the schools are safe and reminding students and parents of steps they themselves should take to protect themselves.

Five protect-thyself procedures cited by the district are:

  1. Always sign in at the office when you visit your child’s school and wear a visitor sticker or badge. Please stay with your children when you pick them up after school or from an after-school program.
  2. Remind children to go to public bathrooms in pairs or trios.
  3. Remind your children never to go with a stranger or to follow directions from someone they don’t know for any reason.
  4. Also remind them that if they feel threatened, they should shout for help, run away, or get help from an adult they know and trust.
  5. Above all, reassure your children that we develop safety procedures to keep them from harm and that the very best way to stay safe is to follow those procedures.

Superintendent Vital also asked the community to “respect the [victim’s] family by not passing on any information that you hear.”

Asked for more specifics on procedures for principals, teachers and adults at Alameda schools to keep children safe, newly hired senior manager for community affairs Susan Davis told Action Alameda News that the results of past safety assessments at school sites conducted with the Alameda police and fire departments are best kept confidential in the interests of safety for students, staff and visitors.

She did say, by email, that, the assessments were conducted “using a checklist developed by the federal government’s Secret Service Department. That checklist includes issues such as “red dot” locations, alarm systems, window coverings, sign-in procedures, lockdown procedures (hard and soft), public address systems, and emergency preparedness plans and supplies. Issues that were identified were then resolved either by the district’s Maintenance and Operations and Facilities department or by APD or AFD.”

She also explained that, “All school sites have been trained in and practice lockdown procedures, fire drills, and earthquake drills, for instance. Teachers also talk to students about the issue of ‘stranger danger’ and ways to stay safe around campus. Every school asks that visitors sign in at the front office and wear a visitor’s badge.

“The district also recommends that schools lock their doors once school starts and encourages all school sites to follow the same procedures for their after-school programs.”

Davis also emphasized that safety protocols need to be practiced by everyone to be effective.

1 comment to School District Mum on Ruby Bridges Sexual Assault on Minor

  • Agenda item on next week’s (Sep. 10th) school board meeting. Unclear if it’s related to this incident, but the alleged victim was participating in the LEAPS after care program at Ruby Bridges.

    Conference with Legal Counsel Regarding – Anticipated Litigation
    Significant exposure to litigation pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(b): Injury to Student in LEAPS Program.

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