Sexual assault controversy at Mass. high school

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April 1, 2013, 10:43 pm
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(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Framingham, Mass.) - Framingham High School Social Worker Kevin Fox has walked away from his job at the school after he says administrators failed to do their jobs regarding two alleged sexual assaults by the same varsity football player against two different female students.
 
"I didn’t think it was going to end on this note, it’s very disappointing and I feel bad for the kids in that building," Fox said.

Fox says he reported the first assault on a 15-year-old sophomore back in the spring of 2012.

He says the investigation was turned over to the Middelsex DA’s office, but no charges were filed.

The DA’s office said, "We conducted a comprehensive investigation, assessing the allegations against the well-established very high prosecutorial standards of proof and persuasion that we apply to all criminal allegations. Based on that assessment, we determined that the matter would be closed out without the filing of criminal charges."

Fox says the school failed to take its own action required under Title IX.

"I quickly realized that they weren’t going to do what they needed to do in terms of their own investigation and disciplining this kid," he said.

Meanwhile, Fox says two months later, the same student groped another female in a classroom.

"And it was only then that the school decided that they needed to discipline him and suspended him for the last five days of the school year," he said.

But Fox says the student – who’s now a senior – was allowed to play football and never disciplined for the first alleged assault.

He says at the very least he had hoped the school could learn from this situation.

"How we as a school could do a better job in investigating and protecting kids," said Fox, "so that this wouldn’t happen."

Principal Michael Welch released a statement saying, "It is clear to me that we have more work to do in improving the educational message toward our students, families and the entire community about these issues."

And Superintendent Dr. Stacy Scott pointed out that the high school hosted a white ribbon campaign event last week saying, "We were eager to have the DA visit us to support our community dialogue on the same issue."

But students protested outside the event because, according to Fox, they felt it was hypocritical. (Video credit: Susan Petroni/Framingham.Patch.com)

"That four people who – the chief of police, the DA, the superintendent and the principal were all standing on a stage talking about how wrong this is but did nothing within the building to address it," Fox said.

Tags: massachusetts, Alysha Palumbo, Framingham, Framingham High School, Kevin Fox, Framingham School District
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