Over the weekend, superintendent visits girl raped at school

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two boys, ages 14 and 15, were charged with first-degree rape on Friday, after prosecutors say they attacked a 17-year-old girl at Southwest Early College Campus, 6512 Wornall Road, on Thursday.

School officials said on Tuesday that the two boys were able to 'jimmy' a lock, which allowed them access to a secluded area of the school where the rape took place.

A police report described the victim as visibly upset, crying and unable to speak at first. Then she told police that as she was walking to class after lunch, the 14-year-old grabbed her by the neck while the 15-year-old lifted her up and carried her to a secluded room on the second floor that according to the police report was supposed to be locked and secured.

On Tuesday, the school district sent home a letter to student and parents in every school in the district. Dr. Stephen Green, superintendent of KCMO Schools said he visited the victim twice over the weekend.

"She is in very good spirits under the circumstances. And was very receptive," Green said. "My wife and I brought her a card and flowers and we all gave her a hug of support. I think that goes a long way in the healing process and I could see that in her face."

Police records show the girl immediately reported the incident and admitted to police this wasn't the first assault by one of the boys. She told police the first incident happened two weeks ago, but she didn’t know who he was until she recognized him in her second hour class.

"That really put us into a state of response to trauma," Green said. "We began to work with the school and the school leadership and students as though they had been traumatized very much like a sandy hook or a hurricane or anything else.

Both boys were arrested on Thursday and are currently being held in secure detention at the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center. Due to their ages, no identifying information will be released.

"It does seem that perpetrators are younger and younger and we as school officials are forced to kind of move, adjust our caution, measured to a younger age," Green said.

Because the rape happened in a room thought to be locked, officials scanned the buildings of all district schools to assess any areas of danger or potential harm.

"When you hear things like that you are very much concerned about the safety and well being of all students and so you are immediately are on high alert and go into a mode of trying to understand what happened and what you are going to do about it," he said.

The district says there are seven police officers on duty during school hours. He also says the district and school leaders will have weekly safety meetings.

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