GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A high school student who says she was raped in school wants her story known.
Her family believes this happens more than Georgia school districts admit.
Channel 2’s Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Tony Thomas sat down with the family and asked Gwinnett Schools for their records.
The district says instances like this are rare.
The girl's family has hired a private investigator to try and uncover more.
The victim told Thomas she simply just tries not to think about it.
“I never knew him, I never saw him,” the victim said.
The 15-year-old student was attacked in a bathroom during school hours.
“I just wanted to use the bathroom, fill my water bottle and come back to class,” the victim said
We aren’t identifying this victim or her mother, but both wanted to come forward and share the story of what happened Oct. 7 inside South Gwinnett High School in Snellville.
“It's turned our family upside down, it really has,” the victim’s mother said.
- Mother wants answers after she says stranger brought home kids kicked off bus
- Georgia police chief's wife arrested in drug bust, charged with heroin possession, officials say
- Cobb woman shot children multiple times before shooting self in chest, autopsies reveal
“I do my best on my own to forget about things,” the victim said.
Thomas found court records showing a 16-year-old student was charged with rape as a juvenile.
“They are supposed to go to school and come home safe. This is not supposed to happen,” the victim’s mother said.
Thomas went to school district authorities and asked how often Gwinnett County students have been sexually assaulted on school grounds in the last year.
The family hired private investigator Robin Martinelli to dig into the issue and push for a safer environment. The family says the district has offered limited help. Martinelli is a South Gwinnett graduate herself and says she sees this problem statewide.
“I've handled a lot of sexual assaults in a lot of high schools in the state of Georgia, a middle school and a few elementary schools,” Martinelli said.
What warning would the victim have for other students?
“Anything can happen,” the victim said.
School district administrators wouldn't go on camera to discuss this issue but gave Thomas a written statement:
"Gwinnett County Public Schools is committed to providing our 180,000-plus students with a safe learning environment. That said, assault of any kind is a serious matter and has no place in our schools. Since the beginning of last school year (2018-19), School Resource Officers have investigated and filed criminal charges in two alleged rape cases. While sexual assault incidents are rare on campus, they unfortunately do occur and GCPS is committed to addressing all allegations from both a school and law enforcement standpoint, taking school disciplinary action and filing criminal charges when police determine a crime has occurred."