An Arkansas school board is under pressure from parents to take action after several members of a boys’ basketball team alleged that they were sexually assaulted by other boys in the locker room, according to local reports.
Huntsville School Board President Danny Thomas confirmed to Fox News that while a Title IX investigation into the allegations is conducted, “the district is not able to comment on student discipline.”
He added, however, that “the Huntsville School District has worked hard to make decisions based on the evidence that was appealed to us.”
Parents who spoke to KHBS, the ABC-affiliated TV station in Fort Smith Arkansas on the condition of anonymity to protect their children’s identities said that for three years, some older members of the boys’ basketball team had sexually assaulted younger boys on the team.
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“Kids were sexually assaulted in your locker room — three years,” one parent said during a Monday school board meeting, according to the local TV station. “How can you sit here and say you’re proud of yourselves when you sat here and did nothing?
Thomas and other members of the school board could not discuss allegations during the meeting but did address outrage coming from parents.
“I’m very proud of this board and this community and this faculty and this staff,” he said. “There’s not a single person on this board that doesn’t dedicate hours of time to what we try to do…what is best for this community, district and staff and these kids. That’s the only reason any of us are here.”
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He continued: “We also support our superintendent because no one’s worked harder through some of these difficult times that we’ve had more than Audra Kimble. To see some of the negative stuff we’ve had to deal with — all of us, the board members, staff, superintendent — it’s been very disheartening, to say the least, especially when we do the best we can with what we have to work with.”
He then encouraged others who want to be involved in the school board and its decisions to “sign up.”
Kimble did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News.
Title IX documents obtained by KNWA, the NBC-affiliated TV station in Rogers, Arkansas the expulsion of a Huntsville student earlier this year that was reduced to one semester. The student in question allegedly put his genitals near other students’ mouths while they were held down in an act that basketball players called “baptizing.,” according to the outlet.
Criminal charges had not been filed at the time of KNWA’s June 11 report.