125 Ooltewah alumni call for transparency in letter to school of - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

125 Ooltewah alumni call for transparency in letter to school officials

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More than 100 alumni of Ooltewah High School are calling for education officials to be transparent about the investigation into the rape involving students on the basketball team.

The letter, which has been signed by 125 alums and growing, asks school officials to address the issue head-on and hire an outside auditor or detective to further investigate.

READ MORE | The letter sent to the Hamilton County School Board

The four-page document was addressed January 3 to Supt. Rick Smith, Asst. Supt. Lee McDade, Principal Jim Jarvis and school board members. It asks “how have we gotten to this point?” and includes a third paragraph of the following rhetorical questions:  

  • We want to know why these children were left in harm’s way, especially if bullying by the perpetrators was reported prior to the sexual assault?
  • How can the atmosphere on a high school sports team be so toxic as to lead to a potentially life-threatening sexual assault?
  • Are these children learning about sexual violence prevention? If not, how can we be assured that students, both male and female, are safe from rape and sexual assault?
  • Are members of the school board, teachers and coaches willing to stop such violence and hold perpetrators accountable?

READ MORE | School Board to meet Wednesday on Ooltewah basketball rape case 

”While we understand that criminal charges have been filed by Gatlinburg police, we specifically call for the Superintendent and School Board to do the following: first, perform a review of this incident using an outside auditor or detective to determine how this happened and prevent such violence to occur in the future; second, hold those responsible accountable; and third, educate the students of Ooltewah about rape, sexual assault, and bullying -- how to identify it, how to stop it, and most importantly, how to get help if they have been the victim of such crimes,” the letter states.

Teachers at Ooltewah High School return Monday for teacher development and students come back from winter break Wednesday morning.

If you would like to donate to the Ooltewah HS Basketball player's medical bill click here

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