Ocala, Florida — According to Ocala father, David Marrs, a Fort King Middle school boy who sits near his 12-year-old daughter on the school bus, has been sexually harassing, bullying, and even making threats against his daughter’s life.
Marrs said last week the boy told his daughter she was f***ing ugly. He also said the boy told her to suck his d**k.
On September 30, 2014, Marrs’ daughter came home crying. He said the boy was telling his friends, “Maybe she wants to suck my d**k.” His daughter said the boy was accusing her of staring at him. She stated that the boy then got her attention and said, “Oh, you wanna suck my d**k?” The girl said the boy kept repeating it over and over again.
Marrs said he called the Ocala Police Department, but because he lives outside city limits, they could not respond to his complaint. OPD informed Marrs that he would have to speak to the school resource officer.
On October 1, 2014, Marrs said he spoke with the school resource officer and explained the situation to him. According to Marrs, the school resource officer informed him that the boy had not broken any laws, but would inform the school dean, Patrick Sasnett.
Later that same day, Marrs said Dean Sasnett called him back for a phone conference. Also included were his daughter and the school resource officer.
The dean told Marrs since the girl responded to the boy’s harassment with a rude remark, she was just as much at fault. The dean then proceeded to tell Marrs that because she hadn’t contacted the school first, but instead went to her father, it caused things to escalate to this point.
Marrs said during the conversation it seemed as though his daughter, the victim, was now being perceived as the responsible party.
“The dean suspended my daughter from the bus for two (2) days because she was defending herself from the boy’s sexual comments,” Marrs said.
Marrs said he asked the dean why his daughter was being punished. The dean told Marrs his daughter was punished because she reacted to the boy’s comments, and that it’s school policy to suspend both parties if both are involved.
Marrs said he told the dean that this situation was clearly sexual harassment and it should be treated as so. Marrs said the dean informed him their decision was final, and the dean then terminated the conference call.
Marrs said when his daughter was questioned there wasn’t a female present. She was only questioned by men, which made her uncomfortable due to the nature of the questions.
Marrs’ daughter said that she was told it was just as much her fault as the boys. She also said she felt intimidated by the dean and the resource officer. “I was afraid,” she said.
On this same day — on the bus ride home — the girl said the boy threatened her life. She said the boy told her, “I am going to beat you bloody for getting me in trouble.”
Witnesses on the bus said that the boy has not only harassed Marrs’ daughter, but also other girls.
Marrs said he has tried to call the school several times since his daughter was threatened, but he gets directed to voice mail every time.
Ocala Post reached out to Fort King Middle on October 3, 2014.
Dean Sasnett said, “We are investigating, and I have no comment.”
Sexual harassment expert and attorney, Indira Jaising, said, “Many young women are destroyed when their character is called into question after reporting sexual harassment. Punishing a victim for reporting sexual harassment could cause future victims to not come forward.”
Marrs has not heard back from the school since October 1, 2014.
We want to hear from you. Do you think the school should be held more accountable for sexual harassment cases? Do you think a female authority figure should be present when questioning female victims?