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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Still think Cosby is being a little too harsh? The denial must stop people...

Police: Asst. Principal Nearly Raped By Students

Mary Bubala BALTIMORE (WJZ) ― Staff under siege--there have been more than 100 separate cases of violence this school year. Now we have the first that's sexual in nature.

Mary Bubala gets reaction from the community.

Her cousin describes her as dedicated to the school.

Some leading educators are calling the pattern of high-profile violence a crisis in Baltimore's schools.

Teachers and administrators are now advised not to stay in schools alone after dark after a chilling attack at the Calverton Middle and Elementary campus.

What's supposed to be a safe haven turned dangerous for an assistant principal there Sunday. Police say two thirteen-year-old students broke through a window and tried to rape her.

"She's been at the school for a while," said Quiezita Smith, who says she's the victim's cousin. "She's a dedicated educator, very loving person, very friendly, outgoing. She's very friendly, willing to help anybody. That's just her nature."

Investigators identified the boys through surveillance video. Police arrested them when they showed up for class the next day.

"This is now a crisis and we have to call it what it is," said Marietta English, president of the Baltimore teacher's union. "I would not stay in these buildings alone late at night."

The alarm over violence in city schools began with the release of a videotaped attack on a teacher at Reginald Lewis High.

Eyewitness News spoke exclusively with the mother of a student there, who says her daughter's classmates tried to sexually assault her.

"My daughter said they threw her on the floor and tried to take her clothes off of her, but they couldn't get them off because she was fighting them off," she said.

The attacks drew outrage from the mayor and the head of city schools.

"It's a shame that one can't do that to prepare for the upcoming week and be safe in that environment," Mayor Sheila Dixon said.

"No way to predict it. No way to guard against it. There's no way that we can police a system in this way," said Dr. Andres Alonso.

Nationwide, there were 1.5 million victims of school violence last year; 78% of schools reported a violent incident.

In Baltimore, the scope of the attacks is escalating. This is the first report of a sex crime against an administrator.

Countless teachers are bruised and battered while their principals look the other way. Still, about 1,500 suspensions and expulsions were issued for assaults on teachers in the city and Baltimore region during the 2006-07 school year. In a five-part series, our partner "The Examiner" takes a look at this rampant violence in the classroom.


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