Williamsburg students and parents say more should be done for sexual harassment and assault

Posted at 9:12 PM, Jun 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 23:19:28-04

WILLIAMBSURG, Va. - Students and parents are saying one Williamsburg high school is not doing enough when it comes to sexual harassment and assault.

"It takes guts to stand up. Especially when you feel like you've been defiled in such an ugly way," said Andrea Chestney. She said sexual harassment and victimizing is happening at Warhill High School, where her 15-year-old daughter is wrapping up her sophomore year.

Victoria told News 3 it happened three days in a row in biology class. She said she was targeted by two boys and one of them started touching her breasts.

"The first day it happened, I had my backpack on and one of the boys lifted it and the other slapped my butt so hard, it hurt to sit down," said Victoria in a video she showed News 3's Kim Cung.

Victoria added since it happened, she's been getting negative comments at school, including ones where other students call her derogatory names or she "asked for it."

Andrea said a school investigation, police investigation through the school and a Title IX investigation were conducted.

"I've sat at home for nights, crying remembering what happened to me. I'm never going to forget," said Victoria.

That's why she and a dozen other students participated in a walk-out at Warhill High School Thursday June 1, to raise awareness for sexual assault and harassment. Lissa Ballard-Hunter participated with her son

In response, Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools sent us this statement:

In every instance, when an allegation of this nature is made, the school administration takes it seriously. As appropriate, a school, police or Title IX investigation is completed, and, again as appropriate, disciplinary action is taken for any student conduct code violations.

But Andrea feels it wasn't enough since she did not did not get a call from the school about what happened.

"The assistant principal did say the reason he hadn't investigated it and started the investigation that day because it was already 1:00 and school dismisses at 2:20," said Andrea.

She wishes all students who report sexual harassment or assault are taken care of well and not just the ones who have persistent parents.

"I am nervous about her going back. I do feel like the school is making a more conscious effort to protect my child, but I feel like it's because I'm there a lot and I've made sure things are win place and they're being followed up on," said Andrea.

Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools said the reporting number for sexual harassment or assault reports is 10 or more so students cannot be readily identified and there have been significantly fewer than 10 this school year.