AUSTIN (KXAN) — Additional counselors were made available on Wednesday for parents and students at Walnut Creek Elementary School. This comes after four new allegations against teacher Alfredo Andrade-Gaytan.
Police say the 33-year-old assaulted a kindergartner inside a classroom during summer school at Reilly Elementary last week. He was arrested on Friday and bonded out of jail on Wednesday.
Parents across the district are now talking to their kids about issues that aren’t so easy to talk about.
“When they saw the teacher on TV, they asked me, he’s on TV?” said a Walnut Creek Elementary father, Art Rodriguez. “And I just explained to them, he did something bad.”
Rodriguez attended the meeting held for parents on Tuesday. “People mostly have questions, they have questions more than anything.”
But talking, experts say, is important.
Laura Slocum, practice manager for Austin Travis County Integral Care, has worked with families experiencing traumatic events.
“After something like this has happened, it’s encouraged for parents to ask their children, has someone or did this person touch you on a part of your body that is covered by bathing suit?” said Slocum.
Parents have attended three meetings this week to ask questions about the accusations surrounding Andrade-Gaytan.
Parents will also have more resources available to them throughout the summer. While there are not any summer school classes at Walnut Creek Elementary, counselors will be on hand to speak with families and answer any questions they may have.
“What they can learn to do is to deal with the trauma, process it and truly understand it wasn’t their fault,” said Slocum. “And figure out how to move on from that point and not let it control their lives.”
And experts say while kids don’t “get over” these traumatic experiences, they can learn to deal with them and move forward.
People who don’t get help after a sexual assault are at risk of developing depression, anxiety disorders and post traumatic stress disorder.
A 24-hour hotline is available for those in need. You can call (512) 472-4357 (HELP).