CRIME

D.C. schools promise safety following Ketcham sexual assault

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The D.C. Public School system on Friday reiterated the system's commitment to keeping their students safe and secure. The statement comes as police are revealing new details surrounding a sexual assault inside Ketcham Elementary School on Wednesday.

"The safety of our students is one of our top priorities and DCPS remains committed to keeping all of our students safe at all times before, during and after the school day," said Melissa Salmanowitz, the Press Secretary for D.C. Public Schools.

Following the Wednesday incident, parents' fears were not alleviated on Thursday morning, when they discovered their children waiting outside the school with no supervision.

As school let out Thursday afternoon, security was obvious and intense. And some parents were asking how could it have happened.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier, on WTOP radio, said the molested student was escorting a man, who had come to the school.

Thursday, parents had to wear name badges, which has not been the normal practice.

Despite the obvious security, when school started Thursday morning a crowd of kids was waiting to get in, yet no police or security was watching them. No teachers or staff and few parents.

The school has surveillance cameras and police sources tell ABC7's Sam Ford they have images of the suspect.

“At all times, security should be present at the school's entrance. Our policy requires all visitors to check in with security upon arrival at a school. Anyone entering a school building must sign in and present proper identification. If security must leave their post, another adult is required to cover the desk,” Salmanowitz said.

"In the instance at Ketcham Elementary School, the suspect spoke with an adult aide at the school about picking up a student. The aide claims to have recognized the suspect and assigned a student escort to lead him to a classroom. This is not a DCPS policy and this incident has highlighted a need to take immediate short- and long-term action to improve procedures and protocols around school security,” she added, saying that the school system is currently reviewing its policies in an effort to strengthen them.

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