Police are investigating a report that a 13-year-old girl was assaulted on her school bus in Charlotte on Wednesday.
In a message to parents on Friday, Randolph Middle School Principal Kevin Woods said school administrators “are working with all stakeholders to gather information related to the alleged incident. Our school remains committed to the safety of our students both on campus as well as our school buses.”
According to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department report, the offense is being investigated as a case of forcible fondling, a type of sexual assault. The report states it happened between 5 and 5:40 p.m.
A CMPD officer says in the report that two suspects were involved. The report doesn’t name them.
The girl was riding the bus in the 4100 block of Sofley Road, according to the police report. That’s off East Sugar Creek Road in northeast Charlotte and about nine miles from the school, depending on the route.
Someone notified police late Wednesday about the assault, according to the CMPD incident report. The reporting person’s name is being temporarily withheld from public release, the officer says in the report.
The CMPD Crimes Against Children unit is investigating the assault, according to the police report.
A CMS spokeswoman provided The Charlotte Observer a copy of the principal’s ’ message to parents.
“Please know that safety of our students is a top priority at our school,” Woods told parents. “This message is being sent to inform you that there is an ongoing investigation regarding an alleged incident that took place on one of our school buses.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools cannot “share any information about students, but can confirm CMPD is conducting an investigation,” a CMS spokeswoman told the Observer in an email Friday. “CMS will follow protocols in place for reporting incidents internally and will support CMPD in its investigation of the allegations.”
The investigation comes about a month after CMPD and CMS officials confirmed an investigation is underway following a reported rape at a Charlotte high school.
High school sex assaults
On Oct. 6, Olympic high school students walked out of classrooms and held a large peaceful protest calling on more to be done to protect students.
Many students were angry after learning that a 16-year-old Olympic football player was permitted to play with the team while wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor, related to an arrest off-campus stemming from a sexual assault investigation. In that case, the male student was arrested prior to the start of school, the Observer has previously reported.
In the on-campus case, a 15-year-old boy was accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at Olympic High on Sept. 13, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said. The male student is charged with attempted second-degree rape, second-degree kidnapping and sexual battery. The teens knew each other, police said in a statement to the Observer.
At least two Olympic High School varsity volleyball players served a one-game suspension for joining the student-led walkout.
At Myers Park High, Principal Mark Bosco was reassigned after a nearly three-month investigation and suspension prompted by complaints from students that he and other leaders mishandled past reports of sexual assault and harassment on campus.
Years-old Myers Park campus sexual assault lawsuits came to light this year, stemming from cases originating in 2014 and 2015. And a protest at the school catalyzed scrutiny and criticism of the district and some administrators over the summer.
Staff Writer Anna Maria Della Costa contributed.