Parent Voices Concerns After Alleged Sexual Assault At Putnam City West HS
OKLAHOMA CITY - A concerned mother is speaking out following a hazing incident at Putnam City West last month that resulted in charges filed against a student.
In a practice known as “brooming,” investigators say a 14-year-old student was held down by his peers while another student forced a broom stick into his rectum.
The district says it is now working to make changes.
“The students themselves are extremely agitated, they are very worried,” concerned mother Edwina Floyd said.
Floyd said the incident on September 28, left her daughter, a high school sophomore shaken, after four students allegedly entered a locker room and assaulted a male student through his clothing.
“If we can't keep our students safe, and I have to say, where were they? That there was no staff member, why was there no staff member?” Floyd said.
And while student Dawson McLain is now charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon---Floyd says the crime was far worse.
“Let’s be frank, it was an aggravated sexual assault,” Floyd said.
Floyd says she understands the pain that child and his family are going through.
“I say a prayer every night for that young man and his family because it’s a nightmare, any parent of a child who’s been assaulted knows that,” Floyd said.
Floyd says although she has confidence in the district, more needs to be done.
“If we can’t put volunteers or additional staff in blank spots in the school, then maybe more cameras, I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know it can’t be something we say oh well, let’s say a prayer and hope it turns out alright,” Floyd said.
The district says Floyd’s concerns aren't falling on deaf ears. It's currently assembling a task force as a direct result of the incident, a group of ten members that will work to identify safety issues, while also working to change the environment.
“It’s looking at a culture that would allow something like this to happen,” Putnam City Schools Communication Director Steve Lindley said.
As a result of the incident a staff member was also placed on administrative leave.