Dallas police are investigating after a middle school student said she was sexually assaulted at gunpoint in a school bathroom.
The Thomas A. Edison Learning Center student said she was raped inside a girl's bathroom after school on Monday. The girl told police a man followed her into the bathroom, forced her to the ground and sexually assaulted her at about 5 p.m.
The girl ran to get help at a day care across the street. Michelle Brown, the day care owner and the parent of an Edison student, said the child's pants were ripped. She was clearly traumatized and very distraught, Brown said.
"It was just very, very devastating," Brown said.
Brown called 911 and the girl's mother, who was already at the school to pick up her child and had been unable to locate her.
"[The] mom, she just collapsed in the parking lot," Brown said.
The Dallas Independent School District said that all of the school's doors are locked by 4 p.m. The district said it reviewed the school's security camera footage but did not find video of anyone matching the description of the attacker.
Many parents and students didn't hear about it until they dropped off their children Tuesday morning.
"When I heard, I was crying," eighth-grader Denisha McDonald said. "I'm scared to even go to school."
"I'm like, 'Wow,' and thinking, 'Should I even send my daughter to school today?'" mother Jamie Lewis said.
DISD said it learned of the allegations Monday night, too late to notify parents before Tuesday.
"The district learned of the allegation around 7 p.m. Because of the time that the allegation was made, it was impossible to get a letter out to parents last night. A note will likely be sent home with students today as more details become available," DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander said.
The school sent the following letter home to parents Tuesday.
Dear Parents and Edison school community,
The safety of our students is our top priority here at Thomas A. Edison Middle Learning Center. When there are issues of concern, we feel it is important to share them with our parents and our school community so we can all work together to ensure that students and staff are safe.
The purpose of this letter is to notify you of an incident being investigated by the Dallas Police Department. An allegation was made yesterday that one of our students was assaulted on campus after school, and we are cooperating fully with this investigation.
I ask everyone to keep our fellow Eagle and the family in your thoughts and prayers. A crisis unit is available for any student or adult needing counseling regarding this matter. In addition, extra security will remain on campus.
Again, safety is our primary concern, therefore we are asking that students be picked up on time each day, that they wear their ID badges at all times, and that any suspicious people on campus or behavior be reported to school authorities immediately. Our staff is working diligently with the police department to ensure our school provides a safe environment for our students.
Thank you for your continued support of Thomas Edison Middle Learning Center. If you have additional questions or information you need to pass along, please contact me at (972) 794-4100.
D. Spurlock, Principal.
The school has increased security has crisis counselors on campus to help students cope with the attack.
NBC 5's Lindsay Wilcox contributed to this report.