Opinion | Sexual Assault in Cherry Creek Schools

How can we reduce the amount of sexual assault reports in our district?


Celia Duran, Staffer

These past 2 years in the Cherry Creek School District we have experienced a number of sexual assault cases in our schools. Last year in November 2021, a student was sexually harassed by a student at Grandview High School. Five months later, the victim walks into the school doors at Grandview where she sees the suspect every day. 

Sexual assault is a very sensitive topic for some, but silence is hurting the victims even more than we think. The big question is, How can we handle these allegations appropriately and respectfully for the victims? Sexual assault is not something the Cherry Creek School District should take lightly, we need to make a change in our schools, these kinds of allegations happen too often for comfort. 

From the research I have found, Cherry Creek Schools isn’t taking the right measures to handle sexual assault allegations.

“My daughter continues to be traumatized every time she goes back to school,” said the victim’s father. “She sees him typically every day, Cherry Creek has not taken appropriate action”

A quote from The Denver Channel says, “Grandview High School students walk out in protest of Cherry Creek school’s treatment of sexual assault victim,”. This shows how the Cherry Creek Schools pushes these problems under the rug and doesn’t take these allegations seriously for the victim’s sake. This is the problem that the district needs to work on. To at least create a safe environment for the students that attend any Cherry Creek Schools. 

My big question is how is the behavior not noticed by the teachers working in the district? Coming from a loved high school teacher, Mrs. Faust. She stated that she sees 162 students a day, so I can understand how noticing this behavior would be challenging but when allegations come out regarding this behavior should not be ignored. I think teachers should be taking a closer look at what actually happens in their classrooms and talk about this subject more with their students for more awareness regarding sexual harassment. My last and final statement regarding this issue would be to provide more support or interventions within the school environment. Going along with my last argument, there need to be more conversations about sexual assault in schools.

MaKenzie Sleesamn provided a statement that was very powerful in the Colorado Sentinel Newspaper. She stated, “In a classroom if something is not working, you change it,”.

Which is very logical thinking about any topic, why isn’t this logic applied to more serious topics? In the past three years, I have attended a high school in the Cherry Creek School District. There has been little to no education regarding sexual assault. There is no information I have received from schools that talk about how much this can affect someone’s life, mentally and physically. This results in students being taken advantage of, or other students taking advantage of one of their peers. 

Personally, this is a very important topic for me, sexual assault allegations should never be ignored, If the district comes together and realizes how many students deal with sexual harassment on a daily, would they make a change within the district? The best way to deal with a topic like this is to provide more education on sexual assault in classrooms. Talking about how much this can affect someone mentally and what different forms of sexual assault there are. This is one of the first steps districts can take instead of shoving these problems under the rug and ending up having them ignored.