Updated: October 22, 2021 01:09 PM
Created: October 22, 2021 05:29 AM
*A note, this story describes a graphic account of sexual assault, reader discretion is advised.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)— A high school teacher from the Rochester City School District says she was sexually assaulted by a female student after breaking up a fight earlier this month.
In an interview with News10NBC, Corrine Mundorff, who works at Franklin High School, said the alleged incident happened back on Oct. 8. She also wrote about it in an open article online.
"So I started to walk down the hallway and I got maybe five steps and the student was there and turned around and shoved me in spit on me spit on my face," Mundorff said. "Another teacher had walked up and gotten between us and was like trying to stop the student and the student shoved him and swung at him, and again my thoughts are I just need to get someone, I need to get help."
She said the fourth time, the student turned around again, but did not go for her shoulders.
"The student turned around and grabbed my breasts and fondled me for about 30 seconds, and then shoved me and spit in my face," Mundorff said."
She added at one point, she was surrounded by about 100 students. Eventually, she was able to find a security officer, but Mundorff claims the girl student ran past that officer and punched her in the side of the head.
Mundorff says another teacher stepped in and was able to protect her and get her safety. She says that's when chaos erupted in the hallways, with multiple fights. She says the district failed her.
"So the student was suspended pending a long-term suspension hearing, this student had a long-term suspension hearing this week," Mundorff said. "I found out [Wednesday] that the school district denied the long-term suspension, and that she'll be returning to class [Friday] maybe Monday, she, it's a shame."
Mundorff also says she has tried to file reports with the Rochester Police Department but hasn't heard back. News10NBC sent an email to the RPD for comment, a spokesperson told us it's a "very active" case and added the department is "well into it."
Head of the Rochester Teacher's Association, Adam Urbanski released a statement saying: "How many more teachers and students must be assaulted before the district acts to address the lack of safety in our schools?" The RTA is the union that represents teachers.
The district sent the following statement to News10NBC Friday afternoon:
"On October 8, 2021, there was an altercation at Franklin High School involving a student and a teacher. As part of the District’s disciplinary practice, the student was entitled to due process and has received it in accordance with the law. Following this process, the student was scheduled to return to school this week. We are working with the teacher to provide support as the student transitions back into the school building. "
A continued issue of violence
For weeks we've been telling you about the concerns of violence within the RCSD, as at least one building, the NorthSTAR Social and Emotional Learning Center shut down due to both staffing issues and violence in the building.
Additionally, district leaders say a football game at East High School was postponed last Friday because of an incident earlier in the day where students from another school assaulted an East High student. On the same day, a student struck a staff member.
Over a year ago, the board voted to remove Rochester Police officers from their schools, the RTA thinks that decision should be revisited, as it proposed a list of 11 recommendations, including bringing police back. Some Board of Education members thought the use of Student Resource Officers (SRO's) was not a useful choice.
On Wednesday the RCSD and City of Rochester released a joint statement announcing that Rochester police officers would be stationed outside of all 11 secondary schools in the district during arrival and dismissal times. The statement said the police presence would last through the rest of this week and the first half of next week.
Mundorff said things need to change.
"What we need, our number one thing that we need is we need more security, hands down, we need more security," Mundorff said. "We need more social workers, we need smaller class sizes we need more teachers, we need more social emotional learning. We need to number one, stop treating us as if we are back to normal. We are not, and it seems to me that every other school district in Monroe County gets that except for ours."
Even with the police measures outside the school Rochester's Presumptive Mayor-Elect Malik Evans said the plan doesn't cut it. Evans made his comments before Mundorff shared her story.
"One of the things I want to know is I want the schools to identify the top schools that are creating most of the havoc," Evans said. "And we need to find an alternative situation for them that does not take place during the traditional school day."
Evans says this current plan is a start, but a more long-term solution is needed.
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