Ohio 8th Grader Punished, Mom Says, for Reporting Classmates Having Sex on School Bus
The mother of a 14-year-old Ohio eighth grader says her daughter was punished for reporting two students having sex on a school bus during a field trip to Washington, DC.
According to the Washington Post and WDTN, Deja Ballard and her classmates from Dayton View Academy were on their way to visit colleges when a boy asked her to switch seats on the bus. Deja obliged; next thing she knew, the boy and another girl were having sex.
Deja told Saundra Roundtree, her mother, about the incident when she got home from the trip. But the student was too afraid to notify school officials. “She wasn’t sure what the boy might do in response,” Roundtree told the Post. “He might have retaliated against her.”
Instead, Roundtree told school officials what her daughter had seen, and they promised to investigate. But in addition to the two amorous teens, Deja was also punished. School officials informed her that she would not be allowed to attend her eighth-grade prom or her class picnic.
“They are saying that she is losing her activities because she moved her seat and that she did not report the incident to them,” Roundtree told WDTN. “They punished my daughter– who did the right thing by telling what she saw– but did nothing to the eight chaperones who were sitting in the front of the bus at the time and should have been monitoring the kids,” she told the Post. “It sends the message that she shouldn’t have said anything.”
Roundtree says Deja is “very upset.” “She had been looking forward to the prom all year.”
Officials at Dayton View Academy are tight-lipped about the incident, but they did tell WDTN that the disciplinary action against the girl is not a result of her failing to report the students’ sex in a timely manner. “She is being disciplined for another part of the problem, which we can’t go into,” Dick Penry, President of the school’s governing board, told WDTN. He says the incident was “handled appropriately,” but Roundtree strongly disagrees. She’s hired a lawyer and wants Deja’s punishment rescinded.
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