What will happen to students accused of sexual abuse in a school?

This week there was a aberrant case of sexual abuse against a 13-year-old girl at the Jaime Pardo Leal school by at least four of his classmates who had been appearing for months. Despite the serious complaint Attorney General’s Office reported that the case is being handled by Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (Icbf) because those involved in the act, both victims and perpetrators, are minors and do not have criminal responsibility.

The Institute pointed out that through a Family Ombudsman, the rights of the girl, alleged victim of sexual violence, and her alleged aggressors will be protected.

In context: ‘The relationship with a teacher at school ruined years of my life’

At this time, the initial evaluations are carried out and the Administrative Process for the Restoration of Rights of all those involved was opened. The girl was referred to a process of specialized care and comprehensive psychological intervention through her EPS.

The ICBF continues with the investigation process in order to clarify the facts that occurred in this case and take the necessary measures.

The facts

Since Sofía* entered the Jaime Pardo Leal school at the age of 13, in the Policarpa Salavarrieta neighborhood of the Antonio Nariño locality, she began to come home without notes, without notebooks or in them obscene drawings appeared. At school they ignored her complaints, until one day the minor decided to tell her relatives.

This case is one more about sexual violence in schools in the city that EL TIEMPO has been denouncing and that as of March 18, the Ministry of Education had records of 163 acts in district educational institutions, committed by employees of the entity. Of these, as of March 1, there were 154 active disciplinary processes.

Edna Bonilla, District Secretary of Education, said that the entity is already aware of the status of the new complaint and that the protocols for these cases have been activated. “Preventing and expediting cases of sexual violence in schools is a priority,” she said.

And last week, the Personería dismissed and disqualified three district school teachers for 11, 12 and 15 years for conduct of sexual acts other than carnal access with a person under 14 years of age. But this scourge does not seem to end. Sofia’s case shows it.

Also read: What happens in schools? There are 158 processes for sexual violence in Bogotá

The girl was intimidated with these drawings in her notebooks.

“I am the aunt. She started studying a week after her classmates. I usually help her with her homework, more so when she went from fifth to sixth grade, which is only an afternoon shift on that campus”.

When she passed the grade, her parents bought her everything she needed for her classes and began to take her to study at that time. “But, a month after her entry, she came home without notes. I asked her then what was she going for if she didn’t take notes. We innocently scolded her and she just told us that she couldn’t copy”.

One day he came home with a large notebook. “We were surprised when we saw a penis and profanity painted on one of her sheets. I immediately told my sister that it was not normal for her classmates to paint those things on Sofia in their notebooks”.

The family began to ask the girl what was happening, the reason for these attacks with her study implements, but the student remained silent, although her eyes reflected terror. “They annoy me, they break my notebooks, my pages,” was the only thing she revealed on that occasion. She was silent.

On one occasion the guardians were summoned to the school for the loss of some books and because they were blaming the minor. “My sister was enraged. She defended the girl and said that she was the one who had been complaining about bullying and the attitudes of a boy who was touching her and another student. At the school they said they were going to follow up on the complaint and activate a special code for these cases, but nothing else happened”.

sexual abuse at school

The assailants scratched or drew obscene things in the victims’ notebooks.

The days passed, but on May 5, 2022, when Sofía’s aunt was helping her with a homework, she realized that, again, she assured her that she had no notebooks. “I told her to bring me her supplies and, when I checked them, in the math notebook there were only obscene drawings that her classmates painted for her. We went and talked to a coordinator while other students looked at the girl and made fun of it.”

That same day, when Sofía left class and her guardians came to pick her up, the girl doubled over in pain. “I told her mother that she had fallen, but on Saturday I went to my sister’s and started talking to the girl because she was very aggressive and didn’t want to go to school anymore. I knew something was happening to him.”

The girl continued to deny everything until, faced with her aunt’s concern, she agreed to narrate everything that had happened to her. “She touched her face and said: yes, auntie. Three children from my class put me on the snail, to the fifth floor of my school, they throw me to the floor and climb on top of me while the others watch. They take turns doing the same to me.’ We feel so outraged that my sister, crying, took the girl to Legal Medicine on Saturday, May 7. She had been abused. From that institute they will send a report to the Attorney General’s Office.”

The minor was referred to the Olaya Polyclinic and several doctors and psychologists saw her there. “They confirmed to my sister that the girl had been constantly abused for four months and that she had named four students. We are devastated. There was violent carnal access, they are ruling out pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

The three alleged assailants are students from the same classroom. “She said that they insulted her during rest times, they pulled her, that she shouted no but that no one listened to her in the caracol. She assured that she told the coordinator and that he told her that she could not do anything because they were all minors. The girl told him on several occasions that, please, take them out of school, but they never listened to her, “said the minor’s aunt.

sexual abuse

The girl was intimidated with these drawings and threats in her notebooks.

Now at school they ask them why they had given notice to the media first. “That’s too much. She called and they ignored her. What’s more, her classmates continue to study in the same room”. The family awaits the medical legal opinion in physical form and the complete medical reports to file them together with the complaint before the pertinent authorities.

In this regard, the Ministry of Education assured this Monday through a statement that “In this particular case, the girl’s relatives approached the educational institution on Friday, May 6 to give the alert about what had been happening with her daughter , however, this alert is given for school harassment and NOT for sexual violence (…) The family understands the complexity of what happened on Saturday, May 7, given that the girl tells them what happened and they identify that it is a sexual violence and act in a timely manner, going to the Public Prosecutor’s Office and from there to the medical center where she is hospitalized Once the situation is known, the school proceeds with the identification of the alleged offenders and establishes communication with the families to activate the protocols.”

Carol Malaver
Write to us at carmal@eltiempo.com if you have been the victim of aggression in schools in Bogotá

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What will happen to students accused of sexual abuse in a school?