MARION, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) – The mother of a student at Starry Elementary, who wants to remain anonymous, said her child is the victim of abuse and now she’s looking for answers.
A Marion Police Department Investigator contacted her on November 2 about an incident in her child’s classroom. It was regarding a high school helper inappropriately touching children.
“I was instructed to talk to my child and find out if they were victimized, and if they were I would receive further help from the Marion investigator.”
She asked her child and found out it did happen. She was not notified by the school, and that’s when she started looking for answers.
“The Marion Police Department has been very helpful and done their best to ensure that they are doing everything they can. When speaking with Starry, all they assured me was that my child would be safe now.”
She said having counselors available for her child is not enough. The helpers were removed from her child’s classroom, but not from the building.
“In the understanding that I have my child was left alone in a dark room during rest time with the teacher in there, or not, that is not yet clear,” she said. “My child doesn’t understand the difference between why this one person would do something. How do I insure them that another person won’t do this?”
She said until the investigation is over, she can’t send her child to Starry.
“I don’t have any answers as to any safety precautions, they have not removed volunteers out of the school, at least while this is going on. I don’t want to punish all for one person’s actions,” she said. “I would like to ensure my child can go to the bathroom, or as a student in the school, feel free to walk around.”
Now she is looking for other options.
“I felt the need to move schools. When I Implied about that I was told by one school that I would have to have a conversation with Starry about the concerns, and have to come to an agreement or find a solution. My mind is no longer at ease. There’s no more discussing it when it’s already happened and there’s zero answers.”
She also tried switching districts, but Starry must approve the transfer and that can’t happen until a scheduled meeting at the end of the month. In the meantime she wants other parents to know what’s happening.
“Your child may not be a victim, your child may not even know about the situation, but don’t you have the right to know who is in your school? If your child wasn’t a victim, what if they saw something? Do they think that’s okay now? Do they think that’s how you treat people?,” she said.
Marion Police Department did confirm the investigation, and Marion Independent School District released this statement:
"We are aware of some allegations regarding improprieties that may have occurred in one of our classrooms. The matter has been turned over to the police department for investigation".
This is an active investigation, and the high school helper has not been formally charged.