Group holds protest in response to Sparkman child bait case

Protesters rallied in response to how a school handled a case in which a student was raped at Sparkman Middle School in 2010. (Source: WAFF)
Protesters rallied in response to how a school handled a case in which a student was raped at Sparkman Middle School in 2010. (Source: WAFF)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A community group calling itself "Accountability for Madison County schools" led a protest outside the Madison County Board of Education Building on Thursday.

Protesters are upset because they feel that no one is being held accountable.

They said the protest was in response to the incident that happened at Sparkman Middle School in 2010. The family of a special needs student is suing saying after reporting sexual harassment by another student, she was instructed to go with him in an attempt to catch him in the act but that he then raped her.

The lawsuit was dismissed in federal court but is now before an appeals court.

The Sparkman assistant principal involved Jeanne Dunaway later became principal of Madison Count elementary. The principal, Ronnie Blair is still there and this year ran for superintendent. The teachers aid accused of setting up the botched sting, June Simpson, resigned but insists it didn't happen that way.

They say they are not happy with the school's handling of a teenager who claimed she was used as bait in a plan to catch another student in the act.

Concerned parents, like Jillian Fried, think that the administrators did not handle the situation the way it should have been handled.

"We feel that, as a community, the board and the school administrators at Sparkman Middle School were insufficient in the way that they handled the child bait case." said Fried.

Inside the meeting, school board members would not talk about the issue.

"We would eventually like there to be accountability for the people who swept it under the rug or, at the time that the incident occurred, created an environment that was dangerous in the first place." said Fried

The picketers said they'll be back.

The activists launched a petition online at Change.org demanding Dunaway and Blair be fired. They also have a Facebook page, if you would like to visit it, click here.

That petition closed with more than 103 thousand signatures on it.

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