MEET THIS KAREN: Hampton City Schools and Their Official Response to the Repeated Rape of an Elementary School Student ON SCHOOL PROPERTY

Nikia Miller
7 min readSep 10, 2021

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This is the public response from Hampton City Schools when a comment was requested by WTKR-TV Channel 3 along with my comments.

Below is Hampton City Schools response in regard to your request.

The information the parent has now come forth with is not factually correct. The school division did investigate and responded to the parent’s complaint. Upon notification of the complaint, immediate action was taken by the school, which included a thorough investigation by the school division and the Hampton City Police Division. As you are aware, often there are specific details surrounding investigations in which we are unable to discuss due to confidentiality laws. However, what we can communicate regarding this matter is the investigation revealed that two female students in the second grade who attend different after-school programs met in a girls’ restroom after school hours.

SAY WHAT?!?!?

Ummm, no ma’am - this is NOT A SITUATION where two girls met in a bathroom to sit on the floor and play dominos. My daughter was FOLLOWED by her assailant, threatened, and REPEATEDLY RAPED! For you to diminish the gravity of this incident is an insult to yourself, an insult to my daughter, and an insult to my family. DO BETTER!

HCS had no knowledge of these encounters until after the fact, and as soon as HCS was made aware, the school division acted as required by law in all manner. HCS made all reports and took all appropriate remedial actions as required by state law and as advised by our attorneys. In addition, HCS took proactive actions including, at Ms. Miller’s request, enrolling the aggrieved student at another school and offering counseling.

Hampton City Schools DID NOT facilitate the transfer of Celeste to another school. Actually, in contrast to this statement, Nanci Reaves, School Board General Counsel REFUSED all requests that were made on behalf of our family. The first request was for Celeste to be tested for Spratley — they refused this request initially but then out of the blue, we received a testing date for Celeste. She tested and was not admitted (which I am fine with — all I wanted was for her to be evaluated). Then the request was for Celeste and Warren (my son) to be admitted to Armstrong. Nanci Reaves was so ill informed that she said that you had to test into Armstrong which is incorrect — Armstrong has a wait list. I then asked for them both to go to Asbury, where I was told that there was no room but they were willing to admit both of my kids into Barron (which has worse test scores than Tyler). Why would I transfer my children into a school that is worse than the one that they were coming from? (prior attorney) then recommended` that I apply both kids at Andrews, Phenix and Tucker Capps. I did not want them to attend Andrews and Phenix and I did the applications for both Armstrong and Tucker Capps. HCS did NOTHING to facilitate that transfer — in fact, Nanci Reaves didn’t even know that my kids were in a DIFFERENT SCHOOL when she told (prior attorney) to forward her the out-of-zone request to her directly for Asbury (email forwarded). The enrollment for Celeste and Warren to go to Tucker Capps was completed almost TWO WEEKS before Nanci Reaves reached out asking for paperwork for Asbury. All of this could have LITERALLY been found out with a simple search where it would have been identified that Celeste had been withdrawn from Tyler, but as shown, HCS had NO INTENTION of assisting us until the absolute last second and even then, they would confirm nothing. They would provide no assurances that Celeste and her rapist would never be in the same school at ANY TIME and that Celeste be provided priority. They provided no relief to us to move Celeste (and Warren) into another school — I had to do that all on my own. And to date, they haven’t paid a DIME towards Celeste’s therapy. They ONLY offered her counseling through the guidance counselor and I WELCOME them to provide receipts of ANY THERAPY they have paid for as I know there are NONE. What proactive approaches did they take? Because at this point, to date, it has been a whole bunch of nothing. A proactive approach to this situation would have been to offer moving Celeste FROM THE DOOR to another school. A proactive approach would have been to offer payment of therapy costs from the door. A proactive approach would have been to ensure safeguards to keep Celeste’s assailant and Celeste out of the same school the MOMENT that this was discovered. A week of out of school suspension and then back to business as usual FOR REPEATED RAPE? That’s not proactive AT ALL.

It must be noted that if someone disagrees with actions of HCS, there are appropriate procedures that can be followed to reconcile grievances, including seeking redress in the courts. Airing disagreements on social media or in open forums is not a practice the school division endorses. If required, HCS welcomes the opportunity for a court to examine this situation as the division is confident that at all times HCS personnel acted appropriately. Hampton City Schools staff members remain committed to ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for all of our students.

Court? Challenge accepted.

The school board and Hampton City Schools is only making the statement that they take issue with going on the record with details of Celeste’s assault because they want this to stay quiet. Nanci Reaves contacted (prior attorney) LIVID because the information about the assaults was made public. After that, the Risk Management department for the Commonwealth DOE made contact, as Hampton City Schools did not feel the situation was SEVERE enough to alert the DOE prior to me going public with Celeste’s story. I have spoken to the Hampton School Board TWICE on the record on THEIR TURF and no one has even attempted to address this or come to an equitable solution for our family. As you can see in the emails that I have sent you, they have been standoffish the entire time. They state that the division is “confident that at all times HCS personnel acted appropriately.” If so, how under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE was there enough time for Celeste to be sexually assaulted for OVER TWO SCHOOL YEARS? Who was watching these kids? Who was ensuring their safety? Because at this point, HCS has shown in NO CAPACITY that they are competent enough to ensure the safety of ANY child. The fact that there was even an opportunity for this situation to happen to the extent that it did is a reflection on the gross negligence of the district and as stated, I’m not afraid of taking this to the courts as they suggested. But also, I feel that it is necessary for the public to know that there are little girls being raped in the bathrooms of their elementary schools. They will NEVER tell parents about this. They will never give the parents and students the knowledge that they dropped the ball and that my daughter was hurt. HCS can robocall every parent to let them know that there was a COVID exposure, but a simple “There was a sexual assault reported on campus, the parents of the students involved have been contacted, and we are working with local law enforcement.” couldn’t be made? “Hampton City Schools staff members remain committed to ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for all of our students.” — is Celeste not a student? What about her? She obviously was not safe and obviously was not nurtured. How does that work? Is their commitment only to the kids whose parents will not call them to task on their missteps? Again, their arrogance is uncanny.

We will have no further comment. Providing additional details may potentially breach the students’ expectations of privacy with respect to their school records. Figures.

All division policies can be found on BoardDocs — https://go.boarddocs.com/vsba/hampton/Board.nsf/Public [go.boarddocs.com].

This is the wrong link to where policies are on the HCS website, but THIS STATEMENT is on page 51 of the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.

(http://hampton.k12.va.us/students/Rights%20and%20Responsibilities%20Handbook%202020%20-%202021%20as%20of%205-29-20.pdf)

“Rules governing student conduct apply not only at school but also on a school vehicle, while on a school-sponsored trip, on the way to and from school, and at the bus stop ( Code of Virginia § 22.1–279.3:1).” So STUDENTS can be held responsible for LEVEL 5offenses TO AND FROM SCHOOL but THE SCHOOL is not responsible for the activity and lack of supervision ON SCHOOL PROPERTY? What sense does that make?

Respectfully,

Kellie A. Goral
Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing and FOIA Officer

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Nikia Miller

Boundless energy - various roles in my 7 Habits, Mom, Wife, defender of the universe, etc.