It’s very easy to miss Vawn Stearnes’s plea to the Clear Creek ISD Board of Trustees at the November 18, 2019 Board meeting. The meeting is dominated by the School Start Time Committee and Dr. Greg Smith’s milquetoast recommendations, as well as Targeted Improvement Plans for Brookside Intermediate, Stewart Elementary, and Clear View High School.
But at the 47:55 mark of the Board of Trustees meeting video, Ms. Stearnes brings to light a very fundamental failure of CCISD: student safety. For three minutes, Ms. Stearnes tells us how her daughter was violently raped – twice – on the campus of Clear Brook High School, and how administrators and the sheriff showed little to no interest in catching the two men who raped this girl.
Here is what we know:
- Two years ago, the girl was raped in the girls’ locker room after open gym while waiting for her mother to pick her up. The girl was traumatized and did not report the attack until this past October.
- In September of this year, the girl was on her way to her car at 9:30 a.m. when she was pulled into the bushes and violently attacked, resulting in two fractured ribs, ligament damage, and a sprained wrist – and an STD. Those were her physical injuries.
- Ms. Stearnes was informed that the security cameras at Clear Brook HS do not cover the area where her daughter’s car was parked.
While we fully understand that it’s difficult to investigate a crime that occurred two years ago, CCISD needs to step up. Not only does it need to investigate how people are obtaining access to its campuses, it also needs to figure out why its security cameras aren’t covering every inch of its campuses.
Ms. Stearnes brought two composite sketches of the perpetrators to the Board meeting. CCISD and the sheriff both have something to go on to start looking for the rapist. But they’re not. After Ms. Stearnes submitted her request to address the Board, she alleges that someone from the Superintendent’s office called to tell her that this was “a pretty strong allegation,” with no concern for her daughter. Clearly, CCISD was trying to silence her.
So, a few questions for CCISD:
- Where is all your security and surveillance budget going?
- Have you not started implementing recommendations from the Safety Committee, like improved surveillance?
- Ms. Stearnes is not white. Is race playing a factor in your decision to get out your broom and lift the rug, particularly since one of the perpetrators has been described as a white male?
Also, watch the Board members closely:
- Trustee Win Weber has a look that can only be described as skepticism on her face, as she literally defends child molesters for a living. She’s probably thinking that she might be able to get two new clients out of it if she pushes for an investigation.
- Trustee Page Rander glares at Ms. Stearnes – keep in mind that Ms. Rander represents District 4, where Clear Brook is located.
- Trustee Jay Cunningham barely looks up, and when he does, his expression is one of disinterest. At one point, he leans back in his chair as if to say, “We’re done here.” Apparently Mr. Cunningham does not have daughters.
- Dr. Smith can barely look at Ms. Stearnes. He is clearly ashamed that this has happened under his watch, but again, he is doing nothing to help.
- Trustee Laura DuPont and Trustee Arturo Sanchez alternate between a skeptical look and a glare. How dare this woman bring to light the failings of CCISD!
- Trustee Jennifer Broddle does not look up once. Not once.
- Trustee Scott Bowen appears to be engaged and concerned – he is leaning forward in his seat. At the end of Ms. Stearnes’ time, he can be seen taking notes.
What will CCISD do to protect our children? Does CCISD even care about the safety of our children, particularly our daughters?