AUSTIN (KXAN) — After almost a week of questions, Boone Elementary School parents were finally given the chance to address district leaders and the Austin ISD police chief, lasting just over an hour Thursday evening.
“Why did the case have to be closed so quickly, what is the protocol, is this a standard protocol?” asked Boone Elementary parent Iram Leon.
Those are just some of the questions Leon and hundreds of other parents had for the school district after an investigation into a 4-year-old student’s possible sexual assault was reopened.
Parents filled the school’s cafeteria and for the first time heard that the original investigator did in fact review the student’s medical records before closing the case.
“I think that helped clear some of the air; you could see the mood shift, where there was sort of great concern,” said AISD School Board President Kendall Pace.
Pace says she was happy with the turnout and that the meeting was necessary to calm the parents nerves even if some of the questions went unanswered.
“People were starting to realize that there is only so much that we can say. There’s an active investigation, I would like to address your specific concern, but I can’t,” said Pace.
The re-opened investigation has AISD police looking at much more than this one case. “He has perceived that he has enough investigators to do the investigations across the district,” said Pace.
“Whatever the conclusion is, let’s come to a conclusion,” said Austin ISD Police Chief Eric Mendez. “Once we have done that then we will look at the internal processes of the department along with the internal processes of how we conduct the investigation, how we notify the district attorney’s office. Do I have enough investigators, are we meeting the demand with the cases and then we’ll have those conversations with the superintendent and with the staff at the district.”
The investigation into the sexual assault allegations was re-opened earlier this week. We’re told the teacher in question has been placed on administrative leave and is not teaching at the school.
The AISD Police Department has four full-time investigators who look over criminal investigations that happen on the district’s property. They also look at personnel investigation for the HR department, internal investigations of officers and any allegations of child abuse occurring on AISD campuses. They report to the Special Operations commander and ultimately the chief.
After hearing the Boone Elementary story, other parents have come forward with similar allegations regarding incomplete investigations.