Two teenage boys are accused of sexually assaulting another student at Southwest Early College Campus. The alleged crime has gotten the attention of a neighborhood church.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Two teenage boys are accused of sexually assaulting another student at Southwest Early College Campus.
The alleged crime has gotten the attention of a neighborhood church at West 63rd Street and Wornall Road.
Wornall Baptist Church works closely with the students at neighboring school, so the reported rape was an essential element of Sunday morning's service.
"We were there the first day of school, passed out Krispy Kreme donuts," Rev. John Mark Clifton said.
Clifton's church has been working with the students at Southwest ever since 2011, when two high schools merged there, causing an sudden eruption of violence.
"They are in our neighborhood eight hours a day, and we just want to make sure that while they are here that they know that we care about them, we love them, we support them, and they are not going to be alone in this," Clifton said.
Church members currently act as a booster club for the football team, something the team doesn't officially have, providing them meals and cleats and rooting them on at games.
In Clifton's eyes, the vast majority of the students at Southwest Early College Campus are good children struggling with difficult circumstances.
"When I first heard about the young lady who was assaulted, I was shocked. I was stunned. I was angry. Every child needs to be safe in school and in our community, and we can't ever become callous to that and think, 'Well it is just going to happen,'" Clifton said.
He hopes the district looks at what more can be done but firmly believes it is not up to just them.
"We always talk about that being Kansas City schools. That is true, but they are our schools. This is our community. So what can we do? We can volunteer," Clifton said.
That was the message he gave in his sermon - one he hopes will extend beyond just his church.
"You can be in the hall, you can be in the study hall, you can be in the lunch hall, you can even mentor kids ... there's even a mentor program. So there are all kinds of ways for us to make a difference rather than to just sit back and say, 'Wow isn't that awful,'" he said.
The 14- and 15-year-old suspects are being held at the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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