The Indiana Department of Child Services said they are now involved in the case of the so-called “touching game” at Crestview Elementary School in Lawrence Township. Although a DCS spokeswoman could not comment specifically on the case, she did say the department became involved after getting a report on the incident.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police also said their Child Abuse Division is reviewing the case to determine whether they will become involved. And now, some parents of children involved in the case are accusing school officials of trying to downplay multiple cases of sexual abuse.
The case became public last week, after a fifth-grader told school officials Tuesday that she had been inappropriately touched by a classmate. The school sent parents an email Wednesday, saying their investigation “uncovered a small group of students has created what they call a ‘game’ that involves inappropriate touching.”
School officials said eight children described the game as involving quick touches on the outside of their clothing. That sparked outrage among some parents, who say their daughters described much more contact with the same 10-year-old boy.
“It was not a game,” said one mother who did not wish to be identified. “It was inappropriately touching someone in their private areas that should not be touched, especially on a fifth-grader.”
Another mother claimed the school was not telling the whole story in describing the inappropriate contact.
“I know a game of tag,” she said. “I used to play it when I was little. And it never involved pinning someone to the ground, spreading their legs and getting on top of them and humping them.”
In particular, one set of parents is upset that the school didn’t call them as soon as their daughter told school officials about the touching. They’re also angry that the school principal wanted to handle the matter internally without calling police.
Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Crawford told Fox59 that if the school found evidence of sexual abuse, they were obligated to report it to authorities.
“I’m not aware as to how promptly school officials reported this,” Crawford said. “It should be reported right away.”
DCS would not confirm who filed the report with them. But the parents of one girl said they were the ones who initally called police, after Principal Kim Brown refused to.
Some of the parents are now exploring possible legal action against the school. They believe teachers and faculty of Crestview Elementary failed to maintain a safe environment for their children.