Straight Up with Sherri

Friday, April 15, 2005

UPDATE: Handicapped Girl Sexually Assaulted, and the Principle was TOO Busy to Deal With it!?!?

Story from The Columbus Dispatch:

Mifflin incident steeped in chaos
Police want to charge 3 students in attack on 16-year-old girl

Friday, April 15, 2005
Bill Bush

Three Mifflin High School students should face charges after an attack that has drawn national attention, Columbus police said yesterday.

Two boys should be charged with delinquency counts of rape, detective Mary C. Harrison said. A third student, an 18-year-old who videotaped the March 9 attack on a 16-year-old girl, should be charged with pandering obscenity, she said.

Detectives will make their case to Franklin County prosecutors Tuesday.

Police said spring break and conflicting stories slowed their pace, but witnesses responding to a Columbus Public Schools probe reveal a harrowing story:

It was an important day at Mifflin.

Students were taking state proficiency tests, and two members of the Downtown brass were visiting for a meeting with the principal, two assistant principals and about five teachers.

Assistant Principals Richard Watson and Vincent Clarno had been ducking in and out of the noon meeting to grapple with problems at the 800-student school on the Northeast Side.

Already that day, school administrators had investigated a report of a concealed weapon and an assault on a Somali student.

Adding to the problems, the Columbus police officer permanently stationed at Mifflin was away from the building for training. On such days, no replacement officer is sent.

At about 1:45 p.m., the meeting was disturbed by a call for help over the administrators’ walkie-talkies.

All hell had broken loose in the auditorium, and a 16-yearold, developmentally disabled girl was at the center of it. Watson and Clarno excused themselves from the meeting and joined teachers scrambling to figure out what had happened.

First-year Principal Regina Crenshaw decided to continue with the meeting, about bell schedules and curriculum......


The girl, who has a severe speech impediment, was dazed, confused and crying, Upshaw-Haider said.

In the school office, no later than 2:15 p.m., Calvario finally was having some luck getting information out of the girl:

• There were four boys.

• They grabbed her by the arm and led her behind the curtain of the auditorium stage.

• She told them to stop, but they hit her in the head and told her to be quiet.

• Two made her have oral sex.

At this point, each teacher and administrator at Mifflin who was aware of this allegation was required under Ohio law to immediately phone the police or Franklin County Children Services.

None did.

"All I could think about was (the girl’s) inability to verbally articulate her thoughts because she is so low-functioning," Upshaw-Haider wrote. "I could not get out of my mind the fact that (the girl) could not tell her side of the story, unlike those boys who were denying their involvement."



  • It's frightening to see what all went wrong with this story.

    Part which wasn't quoted: "At some point, the father called police and went to wait in the school lobby. Because of a mix-up, the cruisers apparently were dispatched to Mifflin Middle School instead of Mifflin High School, and the father eventually went home."

    None of the stories seems to be clear on whether or not she went to the hospital or at least a nurse?

    It also seems the one charged with "pandering obscenity" is getting off rather easy.

    All in all, I'm happy she had the courage to speak out about what they did to her which isn't easy and that at least one of the teachers contacted her father so they couldn't simply wipe it under the rug or try and intimidate her to keep quiet about it.

    By Anonymous Vanessa, at 1:06 PM  

  • I can't believe teachers and a Principle would not want a situation as graffic as this one handled by the law. Even if it made the news and least the community would know that it was dealt with correctly. Obviously its still no secret and now jobs are a stake and the school sill looks bad. You can't cover this!!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:21 PM  

  • and people want to know why I pay for private school, even when I cant afford it?..Hmmmmm..

    By Blogger KC, at 4:16 PM  

  • Glenn Beck is all over this story and has promised not to back down until it gets out and taken care of. Yet another reason why I homeschool.

    By Anonymous Marine Momma, at 7:05 PM  

  • Just an update from an Ohioan:

    Here's some of the latest news on this:

    "The Columbus Board of Education fired a high-school principal last night who failed to call police after learning that a female student had been sexually assaulted by four male students last month in the school auditorium.

    The board voted unanimously to place Regina Crenshaw on unpaid leave from her $95,300-a-year post at Mifflin High School starting today and to begin terminating her contract."


    Wednesday, April 13, 2005NEWS 01ABy Bill BushTHE COLUMBUS DISPATCHSome Mifflin High School officials could be prosecuted and lose their state licenses because they didn't contact authorities when they learned of a sexual assault last month, officials said yesterday.

    Under Ohio law, school employees who hear of a sexual assault on a child are required to "immediately report that knowledge or suspicion'' to police or a county child-welfare agency."


    Friday, April 15, 2005EDITORIALEDITORIAL & COMMENT 10AThe events of March 9 at Mifflin High School are disgraceful in many ways, but the most egregious is that administrators, teachers and some students apparently felt far too little anger at the sexual assault on a 16-year-old girl.

    The Columbus Board of Education and Superintendent Gene Harris were right to fire Principal Regina Crenshaw for not ensuring that police were called the instant she and other administrators heard about an assault."

    By Anonymous Juleni, at 7:02 PM  

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