Sara Neufeld and Annie Linskey, Baltimore Sun, May 7, 2008
A staff member at Calverton Elementary/Middle was putting in extra hours at the West Baltimore school Sunday afternoon when two 13-year-old boys broke into the building and one tried to rape her, police confirmed yesterday.
Realizing that her attacker was unarmed, police said, the woman fought back, and both the boys—identified as students at the school—fled. When they returned for class Monday, they were arrested and charged as juveniles with attempted first-degree rape, attempted robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and trespassing, police said.
The attack highlighted continuing concerns about city students attacking staff members, and it raised new worries about the safety of the many city administrators and teachers who work in their buildings beyond school hours. While students have attacked staff members more than 100 times this academic year and one assault on a teacher was recently publicized on national news, this is the year’s first case of an attempted sexual assault against a staff member, officials said.
“It kind of blew me away,” said the school police chief, Marshall “Toby” Goodwin. “The kids are just out of control. Any time a kid comes in and does something like this, it tells you about the family values at home. There are none.”
Goodwin said that any staff members who will be in an empty school building should notify both their principal and school police as a precaution. He said school police officers, who are on duty around the clock, are willing to escort them as they enter and exit the building.
Calverton, located at 1100 Whitmore Ave., is in a neighborhood known for gang conflicts where violence has been rampant in recent weeks. On April 15, Calverton was among the schools put on lockdown after a city police officer was shot outside nearby Alexander Hamilton Elementary/Middle. The next day, a student from Frederick Douglass High was shot in the face in the same area, and Calverton was placed on lockdown again.
While one of the boys rummaged through the building, the other attacked the staff member in an office, Goodwin said. But the woman was able to fight him off and sustained only minor physical injuries. She called police as soon as the boys had fled the building, around 3:30 p.m.
|Students by Ethnicity||This School||MD School Average|
|% American Indian||2%||n/a|