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Parents rally over sexual harassment claims, weapon incident at Correia Middle School

Middle school parents concerned over claims of sexual harassment and a weapon at school
Posted at 11:53 AM, Sep 07, 2023

SAN DIEGO – Claims of sexual harassment and a weapon being brought to campus have many parents at a Point Loma Heights school concerned for their students.

A letter recently sent to parents stated student safety at Correia Middle School is a top priority, but on Thursday morning, numerous parents rallied outside of the school to let school leaders know the startling claims need to be taken seriously.

“I’m here because we need to believe what the children say,” said parent Lisa Burger. “If there was a gun seen, we need to believe that. If there is sexual harassment going on -- about 13 girls stepped up and had the courage to speak about what happened to them -- we need to trust them.”

A group of parents and students stood outside of the school on Valeta Street before the bell rang on Thursday morning, with many holding signs saying “See something, say something,” “Believe them,” and “Zero tolerance for guns at school.”

The rally came together after reports of students notifying parents and school staff of inappropriate comments and behavior directed toward students by their classmates.

Burger told ABC 10News her daughter was on the receiving end of those comments, and she said it resulted in the student involved getting suspended.

“I can only speak for my daughter because I don’t want to tell the whole story. Actually, I almost can’t repeat what was said, it’s so horrible,” said Burger. “In our case, I just want what’s been spoken already to be heard and equal consequences to the behavior that happened, for safety, for all the children at the school.”

Students also reported a classmate bringing a weapon to class, and a mom who spoke to ABC 10News said her daughter was terrified after seeing what she believed to be a gun.

Correia Middle School’s interim principal sent an email to parents following the reported weapon incident that said, in part: “We will continue to share any updates regarding the unsubstantiated threat to our campus, and unsubstantiated reports that a student had access to a weapon.”

But some parents are disappointed with the language used and feel it’s dismissive.

ABC 10News reached out to the San Diego Unified School District regarding the alleged incidents and were referred back to the email that was sent out to parents.

The letter also said that all parents are invited to attend a forum at the school to discuss safety protocols and student expectations, on Monday, Sept. 11.