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School Officials Respond to Outrage Over Handling of Allegations

Tempers were high at a school committee meeting in North Andover, Massachusetts, where parents and students have expressed concerns over officials' response to allegations of sexual assault.

"Three different girls within a year," said the mom of a former North Andover High School student, allegedly sexually assaulted by former student and athlete Eli Tuttle. "All of these investigations of Title IX that went before your vice principals were complete (expletive)."

The school committee meeting comes after an independent lawyer's report, initiated by the school district.

That report said the school went "too far" when they had victims of sexual assault sign contracts, stating the victims would stay away from the students they were accusing while on campus or else face discipline.

"These girls were told do not speak about any of these issues? Why? They have a voice. Why are they being suppressed?" the victim's mom asked. "Despite everything I sent in about my daughter being harassed by coaches by parents, by the family, it was ignored."

Students and parents say the school failed to keep kids safe, and left them in the dark about Tuttle, who was recently arrested in New Hampshire.

Students walked out of school last month to protest.

"The school, so far, has been more reactive than proactive," said student Julie Tschirhart.

The superintendent didn't directly apologize to the victims' families Thursday, but said from now on, there will be no safety form for students who allege sexual harassment or assault.

"I think the most important thing is that we make sure this is right, because that was not the spirit in which those types of plans were developed, so thank you," Superintendent Gregg Gilligan said.

The school will have an educational meeting night on May 16. It's open to the community.

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