A recent investigation has determined that an assistant principal and a guidance counselor at Brooklyn Public School 219 mishandled an 11-year-old’s allegations that she was being sexual abused by fellow students.
The report released by Special Commissioner of Investigations Richard J. Condon recommended that the Department of Education fire Patricia Sabater, the assistant principal at the Brownsville school, and take “appropriate disciplinary action” against Guidance Counselor Rebecca Shaffren, noting that both educators had failed to properly address the young girl’s repeated reports of unwanted touching and abuse by male students.
According to the report, the girl had filed several written complaints that two male students had touched her inappropriately. She had told investigators that the abuse had been going on since October 2010 and that she had filed complaints to the principal, assistant principal and her teacher in October, November and December 2010, and in January and February 2011. She then broke down and reported the incident to her mother last May. Another student had then come forward saying that she too was harassed by the male students.
The student’s teacher told investigators she had reported the abuse to Sabater on multiple occasions, and was not given any instruction on how to proceed. Another teacher told Sabater that she had witnessed the abuse and Sabater told her “I will take care of this”.
Sabater claims she attempted to contact the student’s mother, who says she heard nothing of the abuse until her daughter reported it to her. Both the mother and t he student filed reports, and when no action was take they informed the NYPD.
A DOE spokesman said in a statement, “We have zero tolerance for educators who put our children at risk – and the findings of this report are deeply disturbing. We plan to seek termination of the assistant principal and will take appropriate disciplinary action against the guidance counselor.”
If your child has been sexually abused or injured due to unsafe conditions, contact Jacoby & Meyers today. We can help.