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Grandview HS students walk out in protest of Cherry Creek School's treatment of sexual assault victim

Student charged but never removed from school
Grandview HS walkout protest
Grandview HS walkout protest
Posted at 4:13 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 19:20:28-04

AURORA, Colo. — A teenager is charged with sexually assaulting a classmate at Grandview High School in Aurora. The alleged incident happened in Nov. 2021, yet five months later, the victim still sees the suspect nearly every day at school, according to the victim’s parents.

“My daughter continues to be traumatized every time she goes back to school,” said the victim’s father. “She sees him, typically, every day. Cherry Creek has not taken appropriate action.”

While the Cherry Creek School District has put in place a no-contact order, the suspect has not been moved, suspended, expelled or assigned to online learning in an effort to protect the victim.

“There’s incidental contact, and that to me is inexcusable,” the victim’s father said. “He should be in online learning at a minimum.”

Wednesday morning, nearly 300 students walked out of class in support of the victim — taking a stand against the school district’s lack of action.

“It’s total B.S.,” said one student. “That’s not okay and something I don’t think CCSD has done much about.”

“We all support each other,” said another student. “We’re all here for each other.”

Details of the assault are infuriating to some students.

“It’s scary to know that there’s a monster in your midst,” said a male student.

“(She) got sexually assaulted here on campus in November,” said a student. “He grabbed something that was inappropriate and basically whispered in her ear, "I don’t really care about consent."”

The Cherry Creek School District said in a statement to Denver7, “CCSD has followed both Title IX and CCSD Board policies.”

“They’re awaiting the criminal courts to make a decision, and as we all know, criminal court can go on for a very, very long time,” said the victim’s father. “That’s not what is supposed to happen.”

Title IX experts agree.

“That is absolute nonsense,” said Igor Raykin, a civil rights attorney. “There is nothing in the law, nothing in the law that says that a school has to wait for the criminal process to play out before the school takes action.”

Raykin says Title IX prevents discrimination based on gender. In this case, Cherry Creek could be setting itself up for a costly lawsuit by failing to protect the victim.

“Because the female is subjected to seeing the accused every day, every week, every month,” Raykin said. “Frankly, I don’t think the district is protecting the victim here at all. They’re prioritizing the accused over the accuser. Both Title IX, the federal law and the policies of the district and the state give Cherry Creek a great deal of authority here to take protective measures. But at the same time, they haven’t done it. The district has more options than police. They can suspend the suspect, expel him, move him to another school or to online learning.”

There is at least one corroborating witness in the case who saw the assault, according to the victim's father.

“I don’t understand why Cherry Creek isn’t acting,” Raykin said. “Imagine that you have made these accusations against someone, you clearly are bothered by this, and at the same time, you may have to see that person again. That can be terrifying for any victim of this kind of violence.”

“I love her so much, and I’m just so proud of her because there’s other girls that have come forward and said, "This has happened to us and nothing was done,"” said the victim’s father. “I will not stop until this is fixed.”