DAYTON, Ohio — A woman said Monday that an Ohio charter school is punishing her daughter for not immediately reporting that she saw two classmates having sex on a school bus and for changing her seat during the bus trip.
Saundra Roundtree told The Associated Press that her 14-year-old daughter told her she changed seats with a boy who wanted to sit beside another girl on a Dayton View Academy school trip last month and then saw the two having sex.
The 14-year-old told her mother the day the bus returned April 22 about what happened on the trip to tour out-of-state colleges, but said she was afraid to report it to school officials.
"She wasn't sure what the boy might do in response," Roundtree said. "He might have retaliated against her."
Roundtree told school officials what her daughter said she witnessed, and they said they would investigate, Roundtree, 48, of Dayton said.
School officials told Roundtree on Friday that her daughter would not be allowed to attend the eighth-grade prom or the class picnic next month, but could graduate with her class, Roundtree said.
School officials did not immediately return calls Monday.
"They punished my daughter – who did the right thing by telling what she saw – but did nothing to the eight chaperones who were sitting in the front of the bus at the time and should have been monitoring the kids," Roundtree said. "If they are not doing anything to the chaperones, how can they punish my daughter?"
Roundtree said the actions against her daughter send the wrong message.
"It sends the message that she shouldn't have said anything," Roundtree said.
Roundtree said she had to tell her daughter about the punishment when she got home from school Friday.
"She was very upset," Roundtree said. "She had been looking forward to the prom all year."
The students seen having sex on the bus were suspended, WHIO-TV in Dayton reported, but Roundtree said school officials would not tell her what – if any – discipline they might face.
Roundtree kept her daughter home Monday and was trying to see if she could arrange home schooling for the remaining few weeks of class.
"Other students know, and we are afraid of possible retaliation," said Roundtree, who didn't release her daughter's name.
She said she has contacted a lawyer and would ask the school to revoke her daughter's punishment.