While few are willing to talk about recent sexual assaults perpetrated by and upon school girls, the statistics tell a different story. In Prince George’s County female student suspensions on account of sexual offense spiked more than four times in 2005-2006, jumping to 13 from just three in 2004-2005. A year earlier, in 2003-2004 there were only two incidents, according to the Maryland Major Public School Suspension by School and Major Offense Category.
Coupled with the rise in recorded sexual offenses, community activists and parents have expressed concern over the alleged trend of girls-on-girl sexual assault in school restrooms.
“It’s happening more and more frequently,” said Cheryl Banks, community educator with the Sexual Assault Center, an organization aimed at providing services to child and adult sexual assault victims, at Prince George’s Hospital Center. The assault center is part of the Dimensions Healthcare System that operates the hospital. “People I hear from said they are very frustrated,” said Banks.
Banks said the victims advocate confirmed one case from last year and there were a couple of counselors who left last year who may have handled more cases.
“A year prior to that we handled several cases all from one school,” Banks said. But she said she would rather not name the school in question as this would not be fair to the school and would not give a correct picture, as people might think this was happening in just one school.
Capt. Vickie Brock, a director with Prince George’s County Police Department who headed the Prince George’s County Police Youth and Family Services, which monitors juvenile arrests, revealed one girl restroom assault at a public forum some years ago. “That was three years ago,” said Sharon Taylor, communications director for Prince George’s County Police. Taylor said resource officers posted at the schools now belong to the sheriff’s office and she had sent a request out to the sheriff’s office for updates.
One father, who has a daughter attending school in Annapolis, said he knows about the recent restroom assaults by gang members. He said his 14-year-old daughter, who is planning to move from Annapolis to join a high school in Prince George’s County, told him about it after hearing it from her peers. But, he said, his daughter is not afraid because she identifies herself as a lesbian.
Members of one such gang were arrested in an unrelated incident. Metro Transit Police arrested half dozen members of a violent teenage gang, whose members are either gay or lesbian, and identified at least three of those arrested as being from Prince George’s County. The six were arrested after a violent clash outside the Addison Road metro station on May 19.
A Washington Post report described the two gangs involved in the metro station incident as having gay and lesbian members, and Candace Smith, a spokesperson for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, described the description as “accurate.”
“All of the persons arrested for the stabbing were from Killa Mafia,” said Smith. “Killa Mafia has girls and guys in the gang.”
Everyone involved were charged as adults, she said, adding that only the people who were arrested were identified. The arrested include a 17-year-old girl, Kimberly Clark, of Capitol Heights, who Smith described a dropout from a Prince George’s County school.
Smith said the detective believes most of the members of Killa Mafia are from P.G County School System and may attend the schools in P.G. County. The school system said students and parents have to come forward if a solution is to be found.
Superintendent John E. Deasy – at a request for comment – said, “Any incidents or concerns must be reported to our principals and school administrators.”