Feds: West Contra Costa Schools Full of Sexual Harassment, Assault

School district didn't do enough to stop problems at schools.

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, Nov 7, 2013  |  Updated 6:34 PM PDT
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School is never easy -- and especially not in West Contra Costa school district, where students routinely sexually harass and assault each other, according to a federal investigation. Jodi Hernandez reports.

School is never easy -- and especially not in West Contra Costa school district, where students routinely sexually harass and assault each other, according to a federal investigation. Jodi Hernandez reports.

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School is never easy -- and especially not in West Contra Costa school district, where students routinely sexually harass and assault each other, according to a federal investigation.

The assaults and sexual-related harassments occur at elementary and middle as well as high schools throughout the 30,000-student district,  according to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.

The school district reported the incidents to police but did not "fully comply" with legal requirements to "eliminate" the troubles, according to the Contra Costa Times.

"Unwelcome touching, demands for sexual favors, and the use of sexually derogatory language" all contribued to a hostile environment for students, the federal Department of Education said in a statement, which criticized the school district response to some of the incidents.

Feds made visits to Richmond, Kennedy and Pinole Valley high schools, Portola, Helms and Pinole middle schools, and Bayview Elementary School, the newspaper reported. They interviewed parents and students as well as teachers and staff.

Several high-profile incidents may have led to the investigation, according to the newspaper, including the grisly gang rape at Richmond High in 2009 as well as a 2008 rape at Pinole Valley High, when a student was raped in a classroom by two male students.

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