After news of alleged rape, teacher talks about life at school - KCTV5 News

After news of alleged rape, teacher talks about life at Southwest

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A teacher at Southwest Early College Campus school talked only to KCTV5 about what it's really like inside the school after two students were charged in the rape of a 14-year-old girl who has autism.

The young girl said the attacks happened repeatedly over the past month while another girl stood as a lookout.

The teacher said the news is horrifying, but not surprising that it went unnoticed.

"Heartbroken doesn't begin to cover it, honestly. It's an awful, awful thing," said the teacher whose identity we won't release. "Something has to be done and it's terribly, terribly sad that it's come to this. It's a tragedy for everyone involved."

The teacher confirms the principal, Edwin Richardson, was one of several school personnel places on administrative leave while police investigate the alleged rape. The others reportedly included teachers the district felt should have been keeping a closer watch on the hallways, hallways they say are filled with nooks, crannies and closets – all places for students to hide out of the view of surveillance cameras.

"You can tell by where they congregate and where these sorts of things happen that they know when they're on film and a building that age, there's just a lot of places to hide," the teacher said.

With fights breaking out nearly every day and some students who flat out refuse to follow any sort of direction, teachers say it can be a rough job.

"It can be very difficult. On a good day it's fairly chaotic. On a bad day it's basically impossible to control," this teacher said. "There's definitely been a lot of sadness, a lot of anger, it's been a very difficult week."

An assembly was held at Southwest High School Friday morning for seventh, eighth and ninth graders and another one will be held Monday for the older students. The message to them is the same – shape up or ship out. The students were warned that, from here on out, there will be zero tolerance for bad behavior.

The two students accused in the attack, a 13-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, were each charged with rape and sodomy.

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