A public high school in Alexandria, Virginia is now at the center of a scandal after the school allegedly withheld information regarding a multiple-assailant sexual assault on school grounds from parents.
In a fashion similar to recent incidents occurring in nearby Loudon County, the school board and school district is accused of withholding information from parents, many of whom are now angry and demanding answers.
According to the National Review, The Alexandria Police Department recently confirmed that an arrest was made in December of a 14-year-old suspect in connection with October rape that occurred at Minnie Howard High School. It has also been confirmed that a victim wound up in the hospital after being assaulted.
The suspect has been charged with aggravated sexual battery, rape and forcible sodomy. The police further commented that, since both the suspect and all possible victims are minors, no further information is available at this time.
According to the National Review, "a recent Freedom of Information Act request also unearthed a concerning series of emails about the reported sexual assault at Minnie Howard High School last October."
On October 6, 2021, Alexandria County Public Schools superintendent Gregory Hutchings sent an email to the ACPS school board with the subject "Potential Sexual Assault."
The Review reports that "among the recipients and participants in the emails are school-board members, the superintendent, the mayor, and Alexandria police. Parents, however, were largely left in the dark."
"FYI there is a potential sexual assault of a student by other students this afternoon at MH [Minnie Howard]. The student has been taken to the hospital and APD [Alexandria Police Department] is working through the investigation. No more details at this time," the email reportedly stated.
This email was then forwarded to city officials, including Mayor Justin Wilson.
"Parents had zero communication regarding this incident. This crime should scare parents. If parents knew what had happened, parents could have necessary talks with their children and pressure the school to increase safety," commented Molly Kaiman, a concerned parent of a student attending Minnie Howard.
Some parents are even considering physically moving out of the neighborhood in the wake of these new findings. One such frustrated parent wrote in an email:
"I don’t want to uproot [my family] but I’m tired of the violence and so is every parent I know."
The email was sent to a number of city officials, including then-acting Alexandria City police chief Don Hayes, Mayor Wilson, and Hutchings. The only person to respond was Hayes, who confirmed the incident occurred, and that an investigation is underway.