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Students At North Texas High School Stage Walkout In Protest Of Alleged Student Sexual Assault

DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) — Hundreds of students at John H. Guyer High School in Denton walked out of class Friday, protesting the school's handling of an alleged sexual assault.

The students came together and just after 10:00 a.m. exited the building supposedly to protest the school's handling of sexual assault cases.

According to the Denton Record-Chronicle, one of the assaults allegedly happened on October 6 on the Guyer campus.

Friday's walkout was held to support of the alleged sexual assault victim and demand action by police, organizers said.

The students walked out of the front the school and gathered in a parking lot. Many were holding homemade signs; one saying "Hold Him Accountable" and another said "We Believe You."

Students who spoke with CBS 11 News called on the district to "do more to protect them" and to support victims of sexual assault.

Parents also joined in the calls for change.

One mother said tearfully, "Our kids deserve to be safe and we need to trust the adults are going to do the right thing when no one's looking... and they're still not doing it, and it's not right."

"It's time," said parent Jennifer Jenkinson.  :This has been going on since eighth grade. These kids are seniors.  It's time."

The Denton Independent School District told CBSDFW it was working with the Denton Police Department investigating the alleged assault of a student.

"Recently, school officials were made aware of allegations of a situation that occurred on a high school campus between two students," the district said in a statement. "Denton ISD is in full cooperation with local law enforcement officials, who are currently conducting a thorough investigation."

School officials said the timeline of the investigation has been set by Denton Police.

"While we cannot comment on the specifics of this police investigation, we want to assure our community that the safety and well-being of our students and staff is always our top priority," the district said.

In a letter sent to parents, Guyer Principal Dr. Shaun Perry asking students forgo the protest and remain in class.

This is the entire message sent to Guyer parents before the protest -

"Dear Wildcat Family: This week you may have noticed an increased presence of our partners, the Denton Police Department, on campus. As you may be aware, information has been circulating on social media regarding a student "walk-out" or protest that could occur sometime on tomorrow.

Currently, Denton ISD is in full cooperation with local law enforcement officials who are conducting a thorough investigation of an alleged incident that occurred between two students. We remain committed to assisting them in ensuring that the investigation's integrity and confidentiality are maintained. We cannot share any specific details.

Our expectation for all students is that they remain in class, and that teaching and learning continue. The safety and security of our learning community remains our top priority, so we will adhere to the following expectations and ask that you share them with your student.

  • Teachers will be recording attendance as usual at the beginning of each block.
  • Our administrators, security personnel, and officers will monitor the potential protest site.
  • No outside visitors will be allowed to participate should a protest occur.

I have shared these expectations with our faculty and staff, and each of us stand ready to assist our students as we move forward. Our staff works tirelessly to provide the safest possible learning environment that fosters healthy relationships.

A key part of Guyer High School's reputation is built on the accomplishments of our students and staff. How we treat one another, including in person and online, also plays a part in that reputation. Please join me as I continue to celebrate the outstanding learning I see happening every day in our classrooms. I trust you will do the same."

A spokesman with the Denton Police Department sent a statement to CBS 11 that said, in part, "We can confirm at this time that we are thoroughly investigating a sexual assault report made by a juvenile student." The department said they would release any information they could should any charges be filed at the conclusion of the investigation.


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