'Sexual assault did not occur' at Texas elementary school, district says after parents protest


South Elementary School in Plainview is pictured Monday, May 8, 2023.

A Texas school district said authorities have determined that a “sexual assault did not occur” in a first grade classroom, claiming the incident that sparked protests and outrage from parents was “mutual inappropriate sexual contact” between two 6-year-old students.

Plainview Independent School District released a statement on Wednesday detailing the findings of an investigation into a video recorded by first graders on a school-owned iPad on April 19. 

The school district’s statement said the recorded video was 34 seconds long, and there was “no outcry for help or struggle.” 

The district’s IT department found the video of the incident after unlocking the password-protected device on April 21, school officials said in a statement to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network.

The FBI and the Hale County District Attorney conducted the investigation at South Elementary School after family members of one of the students involved allege a 6-year-old girl was forced to perform a sexual act on a boy while a teacher was in the classroom.

Plainview ISD canceled classes on Monday and Tuesday due to threats made against the elementary school and its educators. The school district announced Monday that it was working with the FBI. 

Parents of the children involved were contacted the same day the video was found, district says

The school district said they contacted the parents or guardians of the two 6-year-old students who were suspected to be in the video the same day it was found. The school district also contacted law enforcement and Child Protective Services.

“One parent/guardian answered, and the other was not able to be reached by the campus until the following school day,” the statement said.

A CPS investigator met with the police chief and started an investigation.

"The CPS investigator instructed district personnel to not discuss the incident with anyone until he was able to interview each participant in the incident," the statement said.

After the CPS investigation was complete, district administrators met with the parents or guardians of each child involved and offered external counseling resources.

“All 6-year-old children involved in the incident are victims and being treated as such due to the occurrence of behaviors that are not typical of 6-year-old students,” the statement said. 

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