A high school principal has been recorded mocking a student who reported a s*xual assault in Washington DC.
We can hear Aqueelha James, the principal at Roosevelt High School in Washington DC mocking the child in front of her colleagues. She had been placed on paid leave on Thursday.
The student had approached the principal in June 2017 to report that a male student forced her into a stall in the school bathroom, kissed her and put his hand up her dress. She said that the male student left a hickey on her neck.
James was initially sympathetic and supportive when the child and her mother met with the headteacher in her office in July 2017, and James told the pair:
“I’m here to support and be of assistance. I don’t like the idea that your daughter has been assaulted sexually. It is a crime.”
However, after the parent and the student left the room, James was recorded ridiculing the girl’s clothes and saying that she planned to ’embarrass her a**’ by calling doubt on her credibility with police.
In the recording, James can be heard saying:
“I’m sick and tired of her and her mom. This is a bunch of bulls***. This . . . is going to compromise her… So I’m going to call MPD, I’m going to have a long, drawn-out email just so that I can embarrass her.”
It’s claimed that the parent had unintentionally left the phone in the office, and the audio is now evidence in a lawsuit against the principal and the D.C. government, seeking at least $5 million in damages.
According to D.C. Public Schools, an internal investigation had been launched on Wednesday.
They released a statement which reads:
“DCPS does not tolerate s*xual misconduct or harassment in our schools. We take the safety and security of all of our students seriously, and while we cannot discuss the specifics of personnel matters, when the issue at Roosevelt was brought to our attention we launched an investigation and took action.”
After reviewing the audio, Mayor Muriel Bowser said that ‘the matter will be reviewed further’.
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