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Parents say Lexington school didn’t do enough to protect students from sexual assault

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LEXINGTON, Mo -- A kindergartner at Leslie Bell Elementary School is accused of sexually assaulting classmates. Now parents are questioning if their kids are safe in the classroom.

The Lexington Police Department is investigating the situation that parents say school administrators knew about but didn't do enough to stop it.

It was lunchtime on Nov. 13 when the kindergarten boy allegedly stuck his hand down a classmate's pants and sexually assaulted her.

The district notified her parents via email. You can read the full email here.

When the girl's mother, Amber Mckee, went to the school to find out what was going on, "They informed me that he was out of the classroom and a disciplinary and safety plan was in place," she said.

But McKee said the plan wasn't good enough.

Her daughter told her throughout the next two days, the boy got into her face and touched her again.

"And the principal ensured us that there was no possible way the child could have gotten in her face because a safety plan was in order," McKee said. "I questioned the principal about what the safety plan was and they told me it did not pertain to my child, so they could not tell me what the safety plan was."

Lexington Superintendent Sarrah Morgan didn't agree to an interview with FOX4, but sent a statement, contradicting McKee's claims:

"The district cannot comment on individual student incidents due to federal laws that protect student privacy. With that said, our first priority is for all students to feel safe at school.

"When violations of the discipline code occur, we investigate incidents and address those involved in accordance with policy. We work with outside agencies like law enforcement and the Department of Social Services and cooperate with their independent investigations as they relate to student matters.

"Administrators also work with individual parents and guardians to develop plans to ensure their students feel safe and supported in the event of incidents involving student on student misconduct.

"Finally, though we recognize that the parents of students involved in incidents want detailed information about these matters, the district is strictly prohibited by student privacy laws from sharing confidential personal information about other students with parents and guardians. These laws limit the instances in which a school may disclose this kind of information without parental consent and does not provide for disclosure to the parents of other students involved."

McKee stressed that as of this story's publication, she had not been told how the school planned to keep her daughter safe, stating the district's privacy policy.

Justin Hollingsworth also has a daughter in the same kindergarten class.

He said the alleged sexual assault never should have happened to McKee's daughter because a week before that incident, he reported the same boy doing the same thing to his daughter.

"Actually, a boy touching her in an inappropriate spot, and she was very uncomfortable to it. And told him she didn't want him to do it," Hollingsworth said of what his daughter told him after school Nov. 7.

Hollingsworth's girlfriend sent an email to the kindergarten teacher alerting her to the incident. The teacher assured the couple she would take care of it and their daughter.

"She would tell all of the teachers and watch it to make sure nothing like that ever happens again," Hollingsworth said. "The next day actually the situation happened again."

Hollingsworth said he's not mad at the boy. In his opinion, the boy is too young to know better.

What worries him is whether the boy is a curious child or learned that behavior from the same thing being done to him.

While police are investigating, the Missouri Department of Social Services is also involved in this investigation to make sure the boy who allegedly sexually assaulted these girls is safe at home.

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