First Step, community members speak for alleged victims at City View ISD board meeting
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Community members and First Step Inc. officials spoke on behalf of a few of the alleged City View ISD abuse victims. They all went in front of the school board to see what their plans are moving forward amid the ongoing sexual assault allegations.
“I read a letter from one of the kids that got a letter from a lawyer from superintendent Bushong saying that they were going to sue them for slander for their experiences and I just feel like that just embodies this bullying attitude of, you do what I say, or were going to cut you out, and that just hurt me,” Sam Pak, a community member, said.
City View ISD is currently under investigation by the Wichita Falls Police Department and the Texas Rangers. It follows sexual misconduct allegations involving students and a coach. The students said they told the administration but nothing was done, while administrators have previously said that’s not the case.
“We can not let this die out,” Michelle Turnbow, executive director of First Step Inc., said. “We need to know what the plan is moving forward for these students and how we respond right now as a community, as a school, as a board is going to affect these young girls that have already been violated.”
These allegations arose after victims saw former coach and teacher Bob Morris named Texoma’s coach of the year by a local media outlet. Since his death, First Step said more victims have come forward.
“We’ve just noticed that there’s been a big lack in what the school is doing about all the sexual assault and everything that happened at the school,” Mackenzie Splawn, First Step outreach manager, said. “They’re really retaliating back against the victims rather than helping them move forward and make things right.”
They say they spoke Monday night to hold the school board accountable.
“The superintendent is retaliating against them trying to sue for slander,” Splawn said. “That none of this true, everyone is saying that none of this ever happened, everyone is trying to cover this entire situation up when there are 30 or 40 girls coming forward, telling their story. Not all 30 or 40 girls are lying about this.”
And Pak said not all of the allegations are against the same person.
“People saying the same story over and over again,” Pak said. “They have talked to the administration and not only that it goes not just beyond Coach Morris but they’re some other people in the administration that have had inappropriate relations with students and some of the staff.”
Community members and First Step Inc. officials are now asking for support from the community to bring these allegations to light and stand up and make a change.
“Anyone living at City View or that has kids that go there, run for school board,” Pak said. “If you have a heart for kids, run for school board. It can’t change unless somebody is willing to step up and make that change.”
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