MCDONOUGH, Ga. (CBS46) -- “It's going to be a long road to recoup from this for her,” said Valerie Johnson as she sat inside her office in McDonough.
Valerie Johnson says her 14-year-old daughter is traumatized after being groped, inappropriately touched and kissed by an 18-year-old male student at Ola High School in Henry County.
Johnson said the incident happened last Thursday on Aug. 22nd. Johnson says her daughter was waiting for an after school program to begin when the male student asked the freshman girl to come to an area of the school that was closed off. The girl’s parents say the high school senior pulled their daughter on top of him and began kissing her and also touched her genital areas.
“I'm angry as a mother. I'm angry that this man, this 18-year-old decided to take my daughter's innocence,” Johnson told CBS46 as she sat beside her attorney.
A teacher walked up to the students and told them to leave the building. The girl says the teacher did not ask if she was okay and did not get their names. The teacher then reported the incident the next morning and the administration at Ola reviewed security camera footage to identify the students.
The school suspended the girl until she can have a disciplinary hearing next Friday.
“The school is reprimanding our daughter as we speak and not allowing her to be a victim and have her education,” Johnson said crying.
School officials said in a letter that the freshman girl is guilty of sexual misconduct because she engaged in touching the young man. She denies the school’s claims and said she was pushing away from the young man. The family’s attorney says the school seems to be ignoring the law by suspending the students and awaiting disciplinary hearings.
“The bottom line is this is a crime,” said the family’s attorney Allison Crain. “When you have an 18-year-old adult who makes sexual contact with a 14-year-old child we can't say the child consented so it's okay. The child can't consent by law. The child cannot consent. That's what makes this a crime,” Crain said.
The girl’s family is asking police to charge the high school senior with sexual battery.
“The law in Georgia is that a child under the age of 16 cannot consent to sexual activity,” Crain told CBS46.
The Johnson family showed CBS46 text messages where the senior student appears to ask the freshman to tell school officials that they planned to meet up that evening and that nothing was wrong. The messages also suggest that the girl says she was crying because she was afraid of being in trouble.
“I feel like that teacher failed my child at the moment she came up on some sort of action taking place regardless of what time of day it was,” Johnson said. “I feel like she failed my daughter in finding out what was going on, who she was and was she okay.”
CBS46 reached out to Henry County Public Schools for confirmation and comment on the claims.
A spokesperson sent the following statement:
"The matter is currently under investigation with support from our school resource officer. We take allegations such as these seriously. Due to privacy and protections, we cannot provide further comment."