Girls allegedly molested on school bus

Michelle Thompson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:44 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Two Edmonton families have pulled their daughters from class after the 11-year-olds were allegedly molested and sexually harassed on the school bus.

"My daughter came home and she was crying and shaking," said Otilda, the mother of one of the girls.

QMI Agency is withholding the families' last names due to the nature of the allegations.

"She wakes up with nightmares. It was awful."

Otilda said her daughter and another girl have been molested and repeatedly harassed on the school bus since last October.

Edmonton Public Schools is investigating.

"This has absolutely not been ignored," said EPS spokeswoman Jane Sterling.

"We certainly take allegations like this very seriously."

Russ, an Edmonton engineer, said his daughter was also targeted.

"My daughter doesn't feel safe on the bus," Russ said.

He said his daughter and Otilda's child, who rode the bus to Tevie Miller School together, were routinely harassed by a pair of deaf boys.

The boys once tried shoving their hands down the girls' shirts and pants, Russ said.

The girls are now afraid to ride the bus, he added.

"They don't want to see the boys," he said.

"They're just traumatized by them. I'm quite disgusted with that."

Russ and the other girl's mom have been trying for months to have the boys permanently kicked off the bus.

The boys were temporarily suspended, but the school never fulfilled the victims' request to have them permanently pulled from the bus, Russ said.

Throughout the school year, the boys continued taunting the girls with sexual hand gestures and hip grinding, Russ said.

Both girls' parents had their daughters removed from the school Jan. 19.

Later that month, the school finally agreed to put a supervisor on the bus with the boys to monitor their behaviour, but the families said they now plan to transfer the girls to a new school.

Russ said putting a supervisor on the bus doesn't go far enough.

"I want those boys removed from the school -- period," he said.

"I think they're entitled to an education, but no daughter should be subjected to that."

He said the school board should make changes to ensure another child doesn't suffer.

EPS spokeswoman Sterling said the school has spent months working with the families, trying to find a solution everyone's happy with.

"Alternatives have been looked at," she said.

"We want children to be safe."


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