SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The parents of a 4-year-old girl say the Sioux City School District isn't doing enough to address their concerns following the alleged sexual abuse of their daughter at the hands of another youngster and they want the superintendent to step down or be fired because of it.
Chad and Malynda Krastel enrolled their young daughter in preschool through the Sioux City Community School District and also, the after school program Beyond the Bell.
"She begged us for over a year for us to put her in school," Malynda said, recalling her daughter's excitement about starting school.
But that all changed after an incident in the school bathroom between their daughter and another student back in November during Beyond the Bell.
The Krastels began to notice changes in their little girl. She suddenly didn't want to go to school and was having accidents.
"It was slowly getting worse and worse to the point where she started wetting herself, being scared to go to the bathroom by herself."
When she eventually told her parents what had happened, they went to the school and spoke to the principal and assistant principal, asking them what to do next.
The Krastels also notified staff at Beyond The Bell. They then went to the Department of Human Services but were referred to the police department. Sioux City Police did what they could, but told the Krastel's that the main investigation had to come from the school.
The Krastels then went to the directors within the Sioux City Community School District, by then it was January.
"We ended up going to the district because we found that the kids were still being around each other and we need your help," Chad said.
But their request for the school district to investigate had stalled.
"Eventually, Jen Gomez sent a report to us for the first incident on January 31st. It had dates that were incorrect, it had blatant false information in there," Chad said. "They tried claiming that Beyond the Bell had done a report. I have not seen the Beyond the Bell report."
They also pushed the school to look into the child that allegedly assaulted their daughter.
"We were also asking that they investigate the child as well because we do believe that this other child is just as much a victim as ours," the Krastels said.
As they were filing the report with the district, Chad also began looking at school policies and the Iowa Code for education.
"What was the process that should have been followed? Because I knew there had to be something in place for these things to happen," Chad said. "That's when I discovered not only did they violate their own policies, but they are violating state law that requires them to have this policy."
While the district seemed to delay their investigation, Chad went to the Sioux City City Council on January 27th to voice his frustrations.
"The school district kept blaming the police department, so I went to the council saying, 'we need help'," he said. "The police have done everything they could and the school is just hiding behind the police department."
Chad went to a school board meeting on February 10th to bring up his concerns. He also wrote emails to everyone on the Sioux City School Board, the Iowa Department of Education and the Board of Educational Examiners.
"I am trying to do everything I can and just yesterday (Tuesday) I get an email by the superintendent saying he's not going to investigate," he said.
"And this is after the board ordered him to do so," Malynda added.
The Krastel's have emails and text messages from School Board Members and other district officials stating that there was and should be an investigation into the incident. They had set up a face to face meeting with the superintendent to discuss the investigation for Thursday.
"After we agreed that we would be meeting tomorrow, I asked him specifically what he wanted me to bring and if he was going to be handling both aspects of the investigation in this meeting because he said he wasn't going to have the report ready and that's when he responded that he wasn't going to be investigating the incident," Chad said.
Now, Chad plans to go in front of the school board again and ask for the superintendent's resignation.
Chad said, "the fact that he can't even uphold policies..."
"and blatantly refuses to..." adds Malynda.
"He has one job," Chris said. "His one job is to uphold and enforce policies and he's not. I want his job at this point because if he can't keep our kids safe then he shouldn't be there. I want the school district to complete what they should have started back in November because my daughter deserves at least that."
The Krastel's have pulled their young daughter from the school and after school programs. She has also been seeing a child psychologist. The Krastel's say they have provided both their daughter's school and the district as a whole, documentation to back up the alleged assault. Now, they just want those responsible for not following policy and not protecting their daughter held accountable so it doesn't happen to another child.
"There is a Latin term that says "In Loco Parentis" and what that means is, in place of the parent," Chad told me. "They are there to keep our children safe. And they're not."
Siouxland News has received copies of the reports and has seen correspondence between the Krastel Family and the school district. We also reached out to the Sioux City Community School District for comment.
Mandie Mayo, Director of Communications for the Sioux City Community School District sent Siouxland News the following statement:
The Sioux City Community School District is committed to maintaining the safety of every student. The District works with all of our families and students when we become aware of a concern about a student’s well-being. However, due to student privacy laws, we are not able to comment on specific matters. Board Policies 103 and 504 set out various procedures that are in place for parents, students and staff to follow when there are concerns about a situation that might impact a student’s educational opportunities. Our Parent/Guardian and Student Handbook also contains that information. When a concern is reported to us, the District will take steps to understand what occurred, and in appropriate situations may collaborate with and/or refer the matter to the proper agencies or authorities. All staff within the Sioux City Community School District are committed to providing a supportive environment that is conducive to learning.
SEE THE VIDEO
Web articles from my time at Siouxland News.