CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A police investigation is underway into an alleged sexual assault of a 5-year-old on a Charlotte-Mecklenburg School bus.
The mom of the 5-year-old says CMS is not doing enough to protect her daughter after she reported the assault allegations.
“When they go to school, I’m assuming they’re safe in school, but the real reality that I’ve come to realize is that they’re not,” said Andrea Higgins.
On Feb. 6, Higgins asked her 5-year-old daughter the same question she asks every day after school.
“I asked her, ‘How’s your day?’ She said, ‘Fine.’ She goes on to say, ‘I was beaten up.’ I said, ‘Beaten up? Who beat you up? What happened?”
She says her kindergartener started to tell her much more, including graphic details about how one boy student held her down and another boy sexually assaulted her on the bus ride from school to her after-school care.
“When I found that out, I was livid,” said Higgins.
The nightmare continued.
The next day Higgins took her daughter to the hospital, calling the school, Croft Community, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police from the emergency room.
“Any little girl, let alone my own, I would feel some type of way, but it’s my baby,” said Higgins.
She says the school put a plan in place to respond, but it did not include taking the boys off the bus.
Higgins says the school did not tell the bus driver about the situation, and the bus driver sat her daughter next to her accused attacker.
“Putting someone next to her or even seeing someone that you feel has violated you is not right,” said Higgins.
Higgins says she met with the principal, the guidance counselor, and the administration from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools over the phone and in person, each time emphasizing the need to separate her daughter from her accused attackers.
“She told me in no uncertain terms, ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ That’s what she said, so they can’t penalize those boys without an investigation,” said Higgins.
CMPD is investigating.
“I don’t trust the school system. I don’t,” said Higgins.
She says while police look into what happened, CMS needs to protect her little girl.
“The school district has failed her, and I wonder how many other children have they failed in this manner,” said Higgins.
Queen City News reached out to CMS around 11:30 am Thursday. The district wrote back and said they were working on a response.
QCN has yet to receive anything else from the district.
The 5-year-old’s mom says the detective told her the cameras on the bus were broken.
QCN also asked CMS about the cameras, but we are still awaiting a response.
Around 8:00 p.m., Higgins said the school had sent out a no-contact agreement.