Family says Alvin ISD mishandled investigation of alleged sexual assault of special needs high school student

ALVIN, Texas – A mother in Alvin has accused the city’s school district of mishandling an alleged violent attack against her daughter, at the hands of another student.

The victim, who has been referred to as “Janie” to protect her identity, has special needs. According to her mother, Janie, who was 18-years-old at the time of the alleged attack last fall, was raped after a teacher allowed her to go to a bathroom without supervision at Alvin High School.

She said the alleged rape occurred on Nov. 5, 2021.

“I’m angry. I’m heartbroken,” said Janie’s mother, who requested her name not be reported for safety reasons.

The mother told KPRC 2 that Janie has the cognitive function of a child no more than 6-years-old and, because of that, she had instructed staff at the school to supervise her at all times.

“Their special needs bathroom was broken for four days and she said she had to go to the bathroom and they let her go to the restroom. No one watched,” Janie’s mother said, adding after school administrators called her after she took Janie to an emergency room for a nurse to examine her.

“[The nurse] said she’s been assaulted. She said there is bruising. There is tearing,”  she explained.

Janie’s older sister said it was during that exam that the nurse informed her of what school officials neglected to mention. 

“They didn’t tell us that she was strangled. They didn’t tell us that he tried to smother her. They didn’t tell us that he had molested her,” the sister said.

The molestation allegedly occurred two days before the alleged rape, which Janie’s mom said came out later during a conversation with Alvin ISD police. 

“She should have been given a sexual assault advocate. We were never offered that,” Janie’s mother said. 

A spokesperson for Alvin ISD told KPRC 2 the district followed protocol. 

“The district vehemently denies that its staff improperly responded to the allegations,” said Renae Rives, director of communications, Alvin ISD.

Alvin ISD also said the Brazoria County District Attorney’s Office sent the case to a grand jury, which declined to indict the student.

“Alvin ISD remains committed to honoring the trust families place in our district when they send their children to our schools,” the school district’s statement continued. 

During her interview with KPRC 2, Janie’s mother read a letter Alvin High School’s principal sent her — after the principal said she reviewed security video, concluding her staff did nothing wrong. 

“Never ever ever have I said she is to be unsupervised. And I will tell the principal you’re a liar,” Janie’s mother said in response to the letter. 

Eugene Howard, a community activist and former special education teacher, said school staff mishandled the investigation.

“No child should have to worry about being sexually assaulted or sexually touched in a place of education. Period,” Howard said. 

Janie’s mother said staff should be fired for their alleged negligence.  Meantime, she said Janie has attended weekly counseling sessions since her attack. She said during those sessions Janie is able to communicate more about what happened and “hasn’t been right” since her attack.

“My family is broken over what happened to my daughter,” the mother said.

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Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.