Are Barstow Schools and Police Attempting to Silence Sexual Harassment/Assault Victims?

Are Barstow Schools and Police Attempting to Silence Sexual Harassment/Assault Victims?

BARSTOW, Calif. – The mother of the 9-year-old girl that was the victim to an attempted sexual assault at Montara Elementary School said she will fight until there is justice for her daughter and serious consequences for those responsible.

As of the morning of Wednesday, February 27, 2019, the school, the Barstow Unified School District, and the Barstow Police Department have yet to respond to a 24/7 Headline News reporters request for information. Lisa LaStelly, the victim’s mother said that she was pleased when an officer with the Barstow Police Department made contact with he saying that they will be handling the incident. Following that contact, school officials also contacted her, requested that she attend a meeting regarding the alleged incident.

“Today, I got a visit from Officer Carrillo,” said LaStelly. “I was informed that no criminal charges would be filed against the boys who violated my daughter. I was told that the boys said they merely gave my daughter a hug.”  LaStelly said that statement was false and what would be expected of any suspect. “My daughter was traumatized, she knows the difference between a hug and someone violating her,” LaStelly added. “I was told that the derogatory and sexual statements weren’t directed to my daughter. They were merely yelling them as they chased her and she hid in the bathroom from them.”  

LaStelly said that since her daughter’s statement did not match that of the suspects, they were unable to file charges. Numerous parents chimed in on the “Barstow Bad News Express” Facebook group, many naming the principal Mrs. Michelson as being the problem with the school failing to protect the students and others stating that the Barstow Unified School District (BUSD) has always been that way. “I can tell you first hand that BUSD constantly ignores and downplays some very serious issues and it’s been that way for years,” said a former BUSD student.”As I was reading her post it was almost identical to what happened to me many years ago. Unfortunately, in my case, I was sexually abused on the playground in the open and nothing was done. I’ve lived with this trauma for years.” The victim, who is being kept anonymous for her privacy, said that her daughter who now attends BUSD has been sexually threatened at Montara School, and although it was brought to their attention, nothing was done.

“Other parents need to come forward and go to the police, go to the district, tell their stories,” said LaStelly.  She said that she will be removing her daughter from the school and likely will be homeschooling her since she believes she still may be in danger of bullying, sexual harassment, or even a sexual assault. She is upset that it has come to this since the boys not only caused trauma for her young daughter but now they indirectly are ruining her school experience.
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Christie Martin

Reporter at 24/7 Headline News
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