A 7-year-old New Orleans boy claims that a male gym teacher at Mahalia Jackson Elementary School raped him. The child’s mother alerted NOLA police on Monday. The substitute gym teacher had only worked at the school for three weeks, but district officials maintain he passed a background check.
No arrests have yet been made in the Mahalia Jackson Elementary School child rape allegations case. New Orleans police investigators have reportedly classified the incident as an “aggregated rape” case. School building principal Lakesysha London said the male gym teacher worked was hired by the Orleans Parish Public School System in October.
The unidentified male gym teacher was removed from the Mahalia Jackson Elementary School classroom after the seven-year-old boy voiced the rape claims. The alleged sexual assault is said to have occurred on school property. “What I would like to say is to our parents, first and foremost, is that we provide a wholesome environment for our students each and every day. We thrive on making sure that our students come here to a safe environment, and we will continue to work with the authorities in this matter,” London added.
The New Orleans school district has made counselors available to both students and staff while the alleged rape of the 7-year-old boy is investigated. “Please be assured that the safety of our students is top priority and the instructional program is proceeding as normal,” the principal said in a statement released to local news outlet, WGNO. “There is currently an investigation of an alleged assault to a student on campus. We are working closely with Orleans Parish School Board administration, as well as, the New Orleans Police Department,” the release also stated.
The Mahalia Elementary School is reportedly on edge in the wake of the claims that a seven-year-old boy was raped on campus. “You shouldn’t have to worry if you’re at work and your kids are at school, a fall or something like that, but something of this nature you never expect to hear that,” mother and grandmother Caroline Turner said.
Lois Berry, also a mother and grandmother who lives in the school district, appears to agree with Turner, “You’re putting your child in their hands and then for something like that to happen, whether it happened or not we don’t know yet, but it’s really sad.”
Armand Devezin, assistant school superintendent, said, “This allegation is an unfortunate one. It certainly is never, never expected, however in our environment, in the world today, these kinds f things do unfortunately happen.”
[Image via: Mascontext]