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PRINCETON (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texas elementary school parents are learning about a serious allegation against former teacher’s aide Joshua Dwane Rojas. Deputies arrested Rojas after a grand jury indicted him for sexually assaulting a student.
Parents of students at Lacy Elementary are facing a difficult situation trying to figure out how to talk to their children about this arrest, and many of them tell us they want a change in how the district handles cases like this in the future.
When Kim Landers read a news report that deputies arrested Rojas for sexually assaulting a student, she immediately worried about her own daughter who attends Lacy Elementary where Rojas worked.
“My worst fear is that he had contact with her and that she didn’t tell me,” Landers said.
Deputies and school officials insist the investigation has only identified one victim in the case, but Landers says she can’t help but think of how Rojas would often greet her daughter and other children when parents dropped them off at school.
“And he knew my daughter by name even though she had never been in any of his classes. He would play hide and seek with her around the pillars,” Landers said.
Bill Kirkbride says he wishes the school district would have informed parents like himself back in April when the allegations were made.
“I would have liked to have known when it happened. I mean, I think that’s something… a parent’s right to know,” Kirkbride said.
“That’s when the anger comes in, is why didn’t I know? Why didn’t the school inform me?” Landers added.
The superintendent released a statement today saying, “Parents are notified when an arrest takes place, which is typically a much shorter time frame than in this case, which involved a five-month investigation before the grand jury issued a warrant.”
“Here we’re sitting in September, and he’s been arrested, and this is when we find out, and we didn’t find out from the school. We find out from the news,” Landers said.
We asked the district about that policy. They tell us that at the point of accusation they suspend the employee to safeguard the children, but they do not inform parents at that point because they don’t want to interfere with the investigation by law enforcement.
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