On the morning of Oct. 15, hundreds of students at Geyer High School in Denton, Texas staged a walkout in protest of a recent alleged sexual assault that went unrepressed by police and school administrators. The crowd of students and parents walked around the school a few times, calling for action against alleged sexual abusers. Many of the protesters carried Me Too signs and repeatedly chanted “Enough is enough.”
Other parents at the protest related their own children who were allegedly assaulted at Denton schools. After her daughter was allegedly assaulted, Jennifer Jenkins says the officers working on the case, “actually said to my husband, ‘You’ve been a 14-year-old boy before’ and my husband said, ‘I didn’t do this, did you?’”
Denton police and school administrators claim to be investigating the matter, but their actions don’t seem to amount to actually keeping anyone safe or enforcing any punishment. Even a thing like assault seems to meet with little disciplinary action.
According to other students at the school along with a recent petition, the claimed assailant had a record of multiple assault allegations since he moved to Denton as an 8th grader, yet he was still allowed to attend class, and even play in the varsity football game five days after the attack. Meanwhile, the alleged victim was hospitalized after being attacked on campus.
The University of North Texas rescinded the alleged assailant’s football scholarship when news broke out of yet another assault allegation.
BREAKING: Per a source, Denton Guyer DE/LB Vincent Paige is no longer considered a North Texas commit. A separate source confirms Paige is being investigated for off-field allegations.
— Mike Roach (@MikeRoach247) October 13, 2021
Otherwise, the outcome of this story remains unclear. The principal of Guyer High School issued a statement, assuring the community that he was “conducting a thorough investigation.”
Presumably, this means they are taking statements, checking camera footage, examining the student’s disciplinary and academic record, and keeping the suspected person detained until they establish the facts of the case. However, in this case (and others), it doesn’t seem like they were doing any of this, as the accused student simply returned to class and no charges were made after the alleged assault, and it seems like they were going to let the issue rest, conveniently claiming they just didn’t have enough evidence to take any action.
This left little recourse for the alleged victim and her family except to protest, as they did. They couldn’t simply “trust the process.” Judging from the large crowd of supporters marching in solidarity, this problem of ignoring assault allegations appears to be systemic. The whole issue is finally becoming public.
Before this protest, most parents were unaware of any alleged sexual predators at the school. As Brayden Garcia reports in The Dallas Morning News, “Parents at the protest said they receive daily COVID-19 reports from the school, but had to find out about the allegations from their children and social media.” Although keeping quiet about investigations of students is intended to protect those in question, this lack of transparency has easily achieved the opposite for those students forced to be in classrooms with potentially dangerous classmates.
Whatever is decided in the most recent case, parents are becoming aware that Denton ISD — and likely other districts — have a serious problem. Parents need to be sure that their kids are safe and that any juvenile delinquent, even a star football player, who sexually assaults other students is swiftly brought to justice. If school leaders can’t keep their students safe, then nothing else on their agenda ultimately matters.