Officials investigating assault on school bus - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Officials investigating assault on school bus

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The Northwestern District Attorney's Office is investigating an incident that happened on a school bus in Belchertown. Officials said several elementary school children are involved.

The incident was caught on tape on a school bus in Belchertown. Belchertown Police Chief Fran Fox said two sixth grade boys from Chestnut Hill Community School assaulted a third grade boy from Swift River Elementary on May 7. Many parents in town say the assault was sexual in nature. Fox declined to confirm or deny that claim.

"I can not comment on that," Fox said.  "It appears to be some kind of assault and we are investigating."

Belchertown superintendent Dr. Judith Houle said no one was injured and that the school department did its own investigation first. Some elementary school parents said they feel alone in the dark.

"I don't expect to get the details," said Dawn French, a Belchertown mother of three. "I want reassurance that central office knows what's going on and they've taken everything into account and they're going to fix the problem. I want reassurance that my children are safe in school. We don't get that."

Some parents with children on the same bus route as the kids involved said they did receive an automated phone message more than 10 days after the incident happened. Parent Myndi Bogdanovich said the message was not enough.

The information needs to be out there so as parents we can have these talks with our kids and say, 'If you ever see something like this happening you need to be one of the people to step up and stop it. If it ever happens to you, don't be afraid to speak up,'" she said. "I feel like a lot of us as parents really want to be able to have the conversation.  If the conversation isn't had, then these things are going to keep happening and happening. Kids won't understanding what the severity of it is."

Houle said, "The isolated incident was handled appropriately by the school department. Appropriate consequences have been administered to students."

However, the superintendent could not release any more details about those consequences or the incident itself because of student record laws.

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