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Socorro ISD places more district police at Hilley Elementary after rape allegation

By Staff Report
Published On: Feb 24 2014 04:14:00 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 11 2014 11:51:48 AM CDT

A Lower Valley mother and father come to ABC-7 with shocking allegations. They say their special needs 9-year-old son was raped at school.

EL PASO, Texas -

Socorro Independent School District Superintendent Jose Espinoza is placing more district police officers at H.D. Hilley Elementary in the wake of a rape allegation a student has made.

"As we’ve committed to open, transparent communication, we have scheduled a community meeting to answer additional questions and provide the H.D. Hilley community with an update on the investigation," Espinoza wrote in an open letter to the Socorro ISD community. "All information, not protected by privacy laws and individual’s rights, will be shared openly. The meeting will be held 6 p.m. Friday, February 28, 2014 in the Socorro High School theatre, 10150 Alameda Ave."

Read KVIA's Feb. 19 report on the rape allegation at http://bit.ly/1k5R2Kl

Read Espinoza's full letter below:

Dear SISD Community:

Recently, we were made aware of an incident involving a student that is alleged to have taken place at H.D. Hilley Elementary during the school day. I assure our parents, students, employees, and community members that we are doing everything possible to investigate the matter and will not rest until the issue is resolved.

We have launched an internal investigation, utilizing all of our resources to include our district police force, and administrative services and human resource personnel. We have reported the allegations to the appropriate agencies and are cooperating with parallel investigations being conducted by the City of Socorro Police Department and Child Protective Services. We have posted district police officers at the campus to help ensure the safety of students and staff. And, we have made ourselves available to speak with and answer any question presented by parents.

In addition, to help ensure open and transparent follow through, we will contract with a third-party investigator to make sure that no stone is left unturned and that we learn the truth. Any area for our continued improvement identified in the investigation will be immediately corrected, and if any employee was involved in wrongdoing we will pursue prosecution to the full extent of the law.

These types of incidents have no place in our schools. Our number one priority is the safety and security of our students and staff. Only when our children feel safe can they learn to the best of their ability.

While I wholeheartedly understand the concern parents have in light of these allegations, I firmly believe that our schools are safe. We have amazing teachers, librarians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and administrators that love and care for our kids; they make every effort possible to protect our children. Again, providing a safe and secure learning environment is our number one priority!

As we’ve committed to open, transparent communication, we have scheduled a community meeting to answer additional questions and provide the H.D. Hilley community with an update on the investigation. All information, not protected by privacy laws and individual’s rights, will be shared openly. The meeting will be held 6 p.m. Friday, February 28, 2014 in the Socorro High School theatre, 10150 Alameda Ave.

In the interim, should any member of the community have a concern or suggestion regarding school safety we ask that they contact Dr. Carmen Olivas-Graham, Director of Administrative Services, at 915-937-1619 or coliva07@sisd.net.

Respectfully,
José Espinoza, Ed.D.?
Superintendent of schools

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