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Portsmouth Superintendent finally responds to alleged rape of student during school

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Posted at 5:29 PM, Jun 05, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-06 09:50:08-04

We went to the their main administration offices, tried to talk to their school board members, as well as get the superintendent to speak on camera--but there was no comment for five straight days after a reported rape at Churchland High, televised live on school cameras.

The school admits they never knew it happened, because no one was watching the monitors.

Previous: Portsmouth teen accused of raping another student in school put under house arrest

On Tuesday, NewsChannel 3 finally heard from Superintendent David Stuckwisch...through email.

He refused to answer any questions on camera, citing his busy graduation week schedule. Instead, we got these responses. He had enough time to write them, but would not meet with us in person so we could press him on his answers.

We asked about why no administrators were watching security camera monitors during the actual rape. "There is no specific policy written to address when cameras are monitored,” said Stuckwisch.

We also asked about the late phone alert sent out to parents after the attack made the evening news.

"Most parents are not home to receive our calls until at least late afternoon," said Stuckwisch. "The administration did not see the incident as endangering other students.”

The last question had to do a comment we heard come from Churchland staff members as well as school board members.

“We don’t really know what happened, because now it’s coming out the two had dated for two years,” said school board member Edward McCabe when we visited his home on Monday for comment.

NewsChannel 3 asked the superintendent why it even matters what relationship the two had, that no one deserves to be raped at school, where they are supposed to feel safe.

Stuckwisch responded with this statement, "Portsmouth Public Schools has an excellent record of providing a safe and secure environment for their children. We faithfully attend to security every day."

He never answered the original question.

It would certainly look like this rape was an isolated incident, according to crime figures kept by the Virginia Department of Education.

They show since 2006, Portsmouth City Schools had no reports of rape or sexual assaults.

According to Portsmouth police, though, there were indeed 3 rapes reported in the city's schools during that time period.

The school district decided to keep that information to themselves, and out of the state's statistics.

But it seems none of this fazes Churchland High parents we talked to Tuesday - many say they still feel their children are safe under administrator supervision, and that this rape does not reflect the school's security as a whole.