Lebanon High School student speaks out after she says she was sexually assaulted on a school bus

Published: Aug. 29, 2018 at 10:01 PM CDT
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Accusations of sexual assault on a school bus have been reported to officials at Lebanon High School.

The student and her family are speaking publicly after they said school administrators failed to do anything about the alleged attack.

"My daughter came in the house and her hair was messed up. She had a horrific look on her face. When she showed me her stomach and the scratches on her stomach and she was telling me about it, that's when I called the school," said Linda Pettidone.

She thought she was doing the right thing by making that call. A school official said she would investigate.

"After that the assistant vice principal said, you know the case was closed. She basically called my daughter a liar," said Pettidone.

She said the administrator downplayed the situation.

"(She) called the sexual assault horseplay," said Pettidone.

Her daughter, freshman Serenity Pettidone said the physical attack took an ugly turn.

"Whenever I got up onto the seat again he pushed me down and tried to get on top of me and undo his pants. I have bruises up and down my leg," she said.

Linda Pettidone said, "She (the assistant principal) didn't care that this is being investigated by the police department. She just went on what boys had to say."

Lebanon School District Officials wouldn't talk on camera about this.

Instead they issued a statement that says:

"The situation was thoroughly investigated and appropriate consequences were given according to District policy. Our investigation found that the family's claims could not be substantiated."

"I cry when you're not around. I try to be strong. You don't deserve this and you're not a bad person," said Linda Pettidone to her daughter.

She's hoping that educators will step in and also raise awareness.

"I want people to teach their kids, both boys and girls, that there are no zones and that no means no," she said.

Serenity Pettidone said, "This isn't right. No girl should ever have to go through anything like this. It is not okay. It is not horse play and it is not funny."

Linda Pettidone said the high school principal reached out and told her he will continue to investigate the incident.

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