Fairview Park parents and students protest alleged lack of response to harassment claims

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 6:29 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A small but vocal and determined group of Fairview Park parents and students protested in front of the High School and Middle School on Friday morning claiming that the district has not been responsive to their claims of sexual and racial harassment.

Fairview Park parent Jose Cruz said his daughter has been sexually harassed since last November and that the district did nothing about his complaints.

When Cruz went public with his complaints, he said, multiple parents approached him with similar stories of the district ignoring their concerns of their children being harassed in a sexual or racial manner.

“Basically now we are just trying to spread awareness of how the school needs to take complaints more seriously when it comes to racism and sexual harassment,” Cruz said.

Cruz said he has filed a complaint with the United States Department of Education after becoming so frustrated with a lack of a response from the district, and his daughter frustrated with the harassment, lashed out, he said he did not approve, and she was subsequently suspended for 3 days.

“She’s been really upset about it, she’s felt scared to come to school because of the constant harassment,” he said.

19 News reached out to the Fairview Park Schools and received a statement in return:

Fairview Park City School District is committed to the safety and well-being of each student and The staff takes any allegation of sexual harassment or assault very seriously. We encourage any student or staff member to immediately report any allegation of wrongdoing.

Due to student information privacy concerns, the district will not comment on investigations or student discipline.

The district respects the rights of students to voice their opinions peacefully. We encourage students to use the channels of communication available to them to seek resolution to their concerns.

The parents however said they remain concerned that the school district is more concerned with protecting the reputation of the district than protecting the children in the school and hopes that they can bring about change by bringing the issue into the open.

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