Two North Atlanta High students alleged that they were sexually assaulted in the school bathrooms on Sept. 27 but later retracted their claims, Atlanta Police say.
The incident marks the second time in less than a year that a sexual assault was reported on the North Atlanta campus. The first report was of an alleged rape that occurred in May in the bathroom at the school’s old campus on Northside Drive. Atlanta Police never announced charges against anyone in connection with the rape reported in May.
The latest report involved what turned out to be consensual oral sex between students in the bathroom of the school’s new campus on Northside Parkway, police say.
Police interviewed at least five teenage witnesses during the investigation, in addition to the two girls who said they were forced to perform oral sex on the boys. Later, during interviews, one of the alleged victims told police that she lied about the incident because other students were talking about it and she was scared.
“A follow-up investigation will be conducted,” the report concludes.
The Buckhead Reporter requested the incident report after receiving a copy of an email School Principal Howard Taylor sent to parents. The letter does not describe the allegations.
“I am writing regarding allegations of an incident of serious student misconduct that may have occurred at North Atlanta High School,” the letter begins. “We take all accusations seriously, including working with various supports within the district and the Atlanta Police Department. In all situations, we take appropriate action in accordance with the results of thorough investigations.”
The Buckhead Reporter reached out to Taylor and he provided additional comments regarding the report, but did not provide more details about the alleged crime.
“The alleged incident involved only a few students, and the alleged actions of these few students, even if they did occur, at no time jeopardized the safety or wellbeing of any other of the 1590+ students and staff at the school,” Taylor said via email.
“Any time an ‘allegation’ is made, we take it seriously,” he said. “If there is even the possibility that, after a thorough investigation, an ‘allegation’ could be concluded as true and the incident could possibly result in a criminal charge against a student (whether or not the incident involved or jeopardized the safety or well-being of any other student), we send out the type of letter sent out yesterday. So, “if” a student is charged and/or arrested weeks, months, or even a year later, prior to reading or seeing it in the news, parents will have been given, in general terms, notice of the incident and the fact that the school addresses all incidents, criminal or otherwise, appropriately according to school policy and state and federal laws.”
A spokeswoman for Atlanta Public schools declined comment because of the ongoing investigation.