Superintendent Marten has made a lot of promises; chief among them student safety as her top priority. In the Public Service Announcement linked above she pledges parents experiencing a safety/abuse concern a path to remedy it.
There are “extensive measures in place to protect students whether in an emergency, a bullying situation or suspected child abuse.”
Cindy Marten – March 10, 2014
She sends parents who need assistance to their Site Safety Plan and site principal. If a situation needs further assistance she directs the concerned parent to the Quality Assurance Office.
Next there are claims of yearly mandated reporter trainings for all staff (the first one I’ve heard of occurred this school year in response to a new law requiring training and I am a former district employee). She reiterated the assertion that all staff are mandated reporters (not investigators) of child abuse and only San Diego Police Department investigates (school based) child abuse allegations.
Every one of these promises were broken in the Green Sex Abuse cases!
SDUSD SUPT. CINDY MARTEN:
failed to protect, failed to report as mandated by law.
failed to secure a true abuse investigation for victims.
failed to support the School Site Safety Plan Process.
fired the one investigator willing to follow the law.
failed to create an environment where staff deal appropriately with known safety issues and instead promoted an environment of silence and cover up where victims are vilified and further harmed, perpetrators are allowed to offend unchecked, and staff are ill equipped to deal with reality and respond appropriately.
Because of this lack of action by Marten, these are some of the realities very young children had to endure at Green Elementary:
– A five year old forcibly performs oral copulation on a fellow kindergarten student in the school restroom. The principal’s sum of experience, “Oh well, boys will be boys.” (Union Tribute article/Reader Article/Green Peer to Peer Settlement)
– A very small special needs child with medical conditions and a damaged voice box is trapped in a restroom stall and vaginally molested by three larger, older girls. The same principal promises the victim’s mom he will investigate and protect. No investigation nor protection ensues. (Channel 10 Report/Johnson v SDUSD Green Lawsuit)
– A 4th grade girl is repeatedly surrounded and sexually taunted by boys. A desperate father writes a letter of warning to every 4th grade parent due to lack of response to his daughter’s sexual harassment.(Green Elementary Parent Letter/Channel 7 News Report) The principal does not protect nor intervene. The harassment continues.
All these cases are predatory in nature and occurred when children were at Green Elementary school in the care of professional educators.
A district hired investigator delves deep and finds the principal is abusing alcohol during school hours and is failing to report sexual assault to the proper agency, San Diego City Police, as mandated by law. The investigator submits a full report to SDUSD and is fired for refusing to water it down.
The investigator files a lawsuit and NAMES SDUSD Supt. Cindy Marten as a defendant in his case. (Investigator Gurrieri Lawsuit Bombshell)
Why would children offend against other children?
In her chapter entitled, “Child to Child Boundaries, of 8 Ways to Create Their Fate: Protecting the Sexual Innocence of Children in Youth-Serving Organizations”, Diane Cranley cites the statistic 30-40% of child sexual abuse happens at the hands of other juveniles. (Footnote 1)
Some children who are preyed upon by adults come to school and reenact their own abuse on others. In rare cases, there is a bullying component of recruiting others to participate in the perpetration and assault.
Other children are exposed to sexual acts or pornography and become aware of sexual things prematurely and act on that knowledge.
While some sexual exploration is normal (Sexual Acts Among Minors – Cranley) the acts at Green do not fall in a normal category. My knowledge of the victim’s subsequent suffering affirms that these acts have long range effects.
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