Little Elm

‘I Felt Like I Lost,' Student Says of Response to Alleged Sexual Assault That Sparked Protest

The sophomore says she was groped and verbally abused by a fellow student last month.

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Many have seen the violence that ended a student protest at Little Elm High School on Friday. Several videos of the incident involving police using pepper spray and a stun gun during a clash with students have been shared on social media.

Four students were arrested for allegedly assaulting officers.

Little Elm ISD said it all started over a social media post that included inaccurate information about an incident a month ago.

Now. a student who said she was involved in the incident – and reported it – is speaking out.

In most cases, NBC 5 would not reveal the identity of an alleged sexual assault victim.

But Jaelyn, a sophomore at Little Elm High School, said because of widespread social media posts, she felt everybody at school already knows she’s the person at the center of the controversy and wants to speak out to encourage people in similar situations to speak up.

“I want to see the school handle this properly and take this extremely seriously because it is,” she said.

In October, during the week of homecoming, she said she was groped and verbally abused on a school bus by a fellow student.

“Sexual assault, harassment because I was touched unconsensually and how I did not want to be touched,” Jaelyn said.

She said she built up the courage through her father and best friend, who encouraged Jaelyn to speak up about the alleged abuse.

“He told me, ‘This is not OK, you need to say something and if it happens again. You need to report it,’ and that's what I did,” Jaelyn explained.

Jaelyn said she spoke with a school administrator, student resource officer and filled out the proper paperwork.

But she said she was told her statements didn't add up.

“It was very hurtful. I felt, like, I lost. I had nothing else to do,” she said.

Many student protestors were upset that Jaelyn was given in-school suspension -- or ISS.

Jaelyn said she was given three days of ISS after she tried to talk with the other student, violating a "stay away order" the school put in place after she made the report.

Four students are in jail after police said they had to use pepper spray and stun guns to get control when they say a student protest at Little Elm High School got out of hand.

“This is a very upsetting time in our community,” Little Elm Mayor Curtis Cornelious said.

Cornelious and Little Elm ISD Superintendent Daniel Gallagher released a joint pre-recorded video statement Monday saying, “After a careful and thorough investigation, it was determined there was insufficient evidence to prove any crime was committed.”

The district said it would perform an independent investigation into the alleged sexual harassment that led to the student protest.

“We're appalled by instances of sexual misconduct. We support the brave victims who come forward,” Gallagher said.

After watching the statement, Jaelyn’s dad John said he still had questions.

“If it was thorough, why was I not told about it? Why are the cops involved with my kid?” he said.

Both said they hoped their message wasn't lost in the madness that took place Friday.

“I just want, not only my voice, but everyone else's voice to be heard as well,” Jaelyn said.

The district is holding a listening session at the auditorium at Little Elm High School on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m.

Gallagher said the district will create an independent committee to review Little Elm ISD's sexual misconduct reporting and investigation process.

"​We will have an after-action review of Friday's incident that will be conducted by the Little Elm ISD Safety and Security Committee," he said in the statement.

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