Norman Schools Superintendent Speaks Out After Student Protest

Monday, November 24th 2014, 10:05 pm

By: News 9

Norman High School students walked out of class in protest of the district's handling of the alleged rapes of three students.

After the protest, the Norman Public Schools Superintendent spoke out.

Dr. Joe Siano congratulated the group for leading a peaceful and positive protest Monday.

The superintendent also said the district handled the allegations properly, but admitted there's always room for improvement.

More than 600 students were not in class Monday at Norman High to protest the alleged rape and bullying of fellow classmates.

11/24/2014 Related Story: Norman High School Students, Parents Protest Over Sexual Assault

“Were we responsive when these allegations were brought to us, and did we act promptly? My answer to that is yes,” said Norman Public Schools Superintendent, Joe Siano.

Dr. Siano said school officials promptly investigated after the first accusation of rape by a now former male student.

But since that first report, two other young women have made similar allegations of sexual assault by the same teenager.

“As a father, you know, I have a daughter, our concern is for these students, these three young ladies and their families,” said Siano.

One young lady has alleged she was raped off campus, after the male student was suspended. The student led group, ‘YES ALL DAUGHTERS' organized the protest and said the girls were bullied when they tried to return to school.

The sexual assaults were allegedly recorded and passed around.

“Do you think the Norman High School principal Scott Beck handled these allegations as he should of?” News 9's Evan Anderson asked.

“I do. I feel very confident that we have a process of dealing with these kinds of issues,” Dr. Joe Siano said.

The group presented a detailed list of demands it feels school administrators need to implement immediately.

“We have lots of those kinds of things in place, but if you're a district that says you can't get better at it, you're going to go backwards,” said Siano.

The superintendent said the male student was given the harshest punishment provided by state law, which is suspension for the reminder of the school year.

He's also not expected to return to Norman High as a student ever again.

A criminal investigation continues.


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