SIOUX CITY, Iowa — A Sioux City father says his daughter was sexually assaulted at school and the district is doing nothing to investigate it. Now, he's called for action from the school board.
Chad Krastel has asked the district and superintendent, Dr. Paul Gausman, to investigate the alleged sexual abuse of his daughter at the hands of another child back in November at an after-school program called Beyond The Bell, but Gausman has yet to do so.
During Monday night's school board meeting, Krastel asked for Gausman's resignation or firing, claiming a disregard over board policy and lack of concern for his daughter's wellbeing. Krastel spoke during the meeting's open forum, holding up copies of board policies he states the school district and Gausman has failed to follow. Along with local school board policies, Krastel also highlighted the Iowa Code where he says the school district and Gausman have failed to follow as well. According to Krastel, Gausman stated that because the alleged assault happened after school "while under the supervision of Beyond The Bell, the district isn't required to investigate."
"These policies are not properly followed from the Principal all the way to the superintendent," Krastel said during the meeting. "Our child's due process was violated, and the schools are less safe due to this failure. Because of this, I ask that you appoint an investigator into all of this. Into the sexual assault and the true reasons the process was not followed. They should also investigate the likelihood that this sexual assault is not the only one."
Chad Krastel stood in front of the Sioux City School Board Monday night, asking for Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman's resignation for disregard over board policy. Watch his full statement.
I am here to ask for the superintendent to resign or for the school board to hold him accountable for his lack of morality, the uneducated ignorance of law and policy, and/or the corruption involved. ~ Chad Krastel to School Board.Last week, Krastel and his wife told Siouxland News how their daughter once loved to go to school, even begging her parents to send her early. After the alleged sexual abuse, she is now afraid to go to pre-school and has since been pulled from the school entirely.
"The superintendent has destroyed my daughter's foundation," Krastel said. "We had to pull our child from school because she didn't feel safe going there anymore. So what does that do to a child who is supposed to continue to build on that foundation? He's destroyed it."
Krastel was also at the school board meeting on February 10th in regards to his daughter's alleged assault. He and his wife have also spoken with Sioux City Police and have taken their daughter to see a child therapist following the incident.
Ahead of Monday night's school board meeting, Krastel told us that he did meet privately with Dr. Gausman last week following our story to discuss his daughter's alleged assault, but Gausman wouldn't discuss board policies. Following Krastel's statement, Gausman told us that by law, he can't discuss this incident, but works to make sure the Sioux City School District is a safe learning environment for all students.
I sat down with Krastel and his wife last week to discuss the incident that occurred at the after-school program Beyond The Bell. You can read and watch that story here.
You can read the full statement from Sioux City Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman below, or watch his statement in its entirety at the bottom of this story.
As the Superintendent of the District, I feel I need to address recent allegations that have been made about how we handle reported concerns involving our students. First and foremost, I want to be very clear that the District is committed to providing an environment where students and staff members are treated with dignity and respect.
As the Superintendent, it is my job to model accountability and student-centered leadership. It is also my job to support our staff in doing the same. I can tell you with great certainty that all of our staff are committed to providing a safe, supportive environment that is conducive to student learning.
However, due to student privacy laws, we are not able to comment on specific matters. Many people do not understand why we cannot provide details on individual cases, so I want to take a moment to explain. The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as well as state confidentiality laws protect student information and almost always prevent us from discussing specific matters. This means we cannot confirm if a concern about a specific student was brought forth, if it was investigated, or if any action was taken. These laws protect the privacy of all of our students, and the District must follow these laws.
While we cannot comment on any specific instances of concern, I can tell you about the practices we follow when a concern is brought to our attention.
Board Policies set out various procedures that are in place for parents, students, and staff to follow when there are concerns about specific conduct that might impact a student’s educational opportunities. Those procedures are also in our Parent/Guardian and Student Handbook. If a concern is reported, we take steps to understand what occurred and then take appropriate action after considering all of the facts and circumstances.
Although our procedures are based on the laws that apply to schools, we may work in collaboration with other agencies, such as DHS or law enforcement when it is appropriate. We may also:
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