Mom Claims Daughter Was Inappropriately Touched in School

By: Angela Chen Email
By: Angela Chen Email

RENO, NV - For Nicole Rhodes, October 21st, 2013 was the day her daughter's innocence was shattered.

"I'm upset," said Rhodes. "I'm worried, not just for my own child, but finding out there's other children involved."

Rhodes says her 7- year-old child was sexually abused by another child during a game of tag at Coral Academy of Science Elementary School in Reno. She says she feels like the school did not handle the situation responsibly.

"She said there was a girl who grabbed her in the private area on the playground,' said Rhodes. "She said it wasn't ok, and she was just making sure, and I said 'yeah we don't let people touch us there.'"

So Rhodes contacted Child Protective Services and filed a police report as well, stating that an elementary school girl had inappropriately touched her daughter as well as another little girl who had been playing with them.

The report says the school counselor talked to all three girls about the incident, but that no parents were called.

School officials said the staff had concluded it was a case of kids being kids.

"The counselor talked to the students. It was determined at that time that nobody was really upset over the situation," said Tia Flores, the communications director for Coral Academy of Science Elementary School. "None of the students were traumatized by it. It wasn't a continued thing. It was just an innocent game of tag. It was determined that no parents needed to be talked to."

Rhodes heard about the incident from her daughter and says she thought the issue was resolved, after hearing about the counselor session.

But after that day, Rhodes says her daughter's behavior changed.

"Every single morning she would walk into that school with her head down," said Rhodes. "It was to a point where she was crying every morning, and I really didn't know what to do."

About a month later, Rhodes says she made an alarming observation.

"She had a stuffed animal, and she had its hand in its private areas and she was doing sexual motion," said Rhodes. "It wasn't just touching or anything; it was definitely something that is shown from someone. So I asked her if anyone had done that to her, and she told me it was the girl from the incident back in October."

Rhodes says she went to the school immediately, but that no one seemed interested in helping her.

Police officials are currently investigating but say that Nevada law dictates children under 8 years old usually can't be punished for a crime because they don't know right from wrong.

Aside from the tag incident, school officials say there was no clear sign anything was going on.

"For the record, the classroom teacher did not see any change in the student's behavior at all during that period of time," said Flores. "There was no change in behavior. There was no evidence or realization to tell us something like that was taking place or had taken place."

Rhodes isn't the only mom who is upset.

Another parent, who wished to stay anonymous, whose daughter spent time with the child of concern made a shocking discovery that this girl "had showed her (the daughter) how to touch herself" while off school grounds.

Rhodes has pulled her daughter out of the school but says that's not the end of the story.

"I just hope that this little girl can get help and that there's no other victims," said Rhodes. "You know this needs to be stopped somewhere."

School officials say safety is stop priority and that they alert the entire staff anytime an incident like this takes place.

Police are currently investigating the case and looking into the family situation of the little girl accused of the inappropriate touching.


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