Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Aki Kurose Middle School in the News Again

Back in April, students on the playfield at Aki Kurose Middle School were witnesses to shooting on an adjacent street.

In June, a student was raped at what she believed was gunpoint by another student in the school bathroom. When she notified school administrators, they left a voice mail on the police non-emergency number and sent the students home.

Now the P-I is reporting that an instructor at the school has been accused of "sexually touching two female students over two years during an English language immersion class at Aki Kurose Middle School."

The timeline in the story is extremely vague. The most telling sentence is the last one:

"After one boy took pictures with his cell phone, the mothers visited the school, witnessed similar behavior and notified an administrator, documents say."

So weird. That part makes it sound like school administrators were notified before the police were. However, another part of the story says that "Seattle Public Schools spokesman David Tucker said Urrutia was pulled from the classroom and placed on paid administrative leave earlier this year as soon as police disclosed the criminal investigation." I guess the administrators knew but didn't do anything about it until police got involved?

Anyway, kids, if you want to report sex crimes at Aki Kurose and have someone take you seriously, please try to obtain some photographic evidence. Also, remember that you can use your camera cell phone to call 911 yourselves. It's not like the school officials there, or your parents, are necessarily going to do it for you.

There's actually another story about Aki Kurose and two other South Seattle schools in yesterday's P-I. It's about the Southeast Initiative, which would spend $7 million on improvements to Aki Kurose, Cleveland High, and Rainier Beach High.

But school board vice president Michael DeBell is wondering whether these three schools really need that much help.

"It's a pretty expensive proposition we have now," the P-I reported him as sayinbg. "Part of it is just a question of scale. Do we need to have all these interventions simultaneously?"

I'm guessing his kids are not at Aki Kurose.


Daphne said...

I have been thinking about Aki Kurose for days, and all the comments about SPS being awful, etc. I thought "those officials should be fired, and if they aren't, THEN we can curse SPS"--well, I just finally checked the P-I article and see "Spencer said the district is not investigating the school official's failure to call 911 or reach police directly when the girl reported to them that she was raped." Why would I EVER send my kids to a school where the administrators care so little about them?? Honestly, I would also hope my kid would call me, and/or the administrators would call me, and I'd call 911.

Unbelievable, really. Only it probably is believable and I just want to live in rosy happy land.

(Also been thinking about the park and the homeless camps a lot, will have to give my comment/treatise on that another time.)

LMM said...

I am convinced the SPS is very, very broken and unless we get a city government that wants successful schools more than successful development, I do not see how we can implement the needed changes. SPS has been allowed to be it's own master- total overhaul is needed. I know that there are a lot of people in this city that care about our schools and have been working very hard to make a difference- but see little effect. The people of Seattle need to get angry, very angry- if rape isn't enough to cause public outcry, I am just not sure what will make the citizens of the city demand change. I have tried to engage a reporter on the issues of how SPS is broken, but no success- yet.
I think it is interesting how there is very little editorializing on this issue. Seems that it is left to bloggers to try to vent the current rage.