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Carpentry student claims classmates harassed, assaulted her

A family in Lancaster County is speaking out after they say their daughter, a carpentry student, was assaulted and bu...

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 1:56 AM
Updated: Feb 14, 2018 1:57 AM

A family in Lancaster County is speaking out after they say their daughter, a carpentry student, was assaulted and bullied by classmates at the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center (CTC).

As a result, the family fears she won't receive her carpentry diploma.

Victoria Andrades' mother says it took a while for her daughter to tell her what was going on at the Mount Joy School.

She says her daughter was treated badly by the boys in her classes all year and even assaulted by one of them.

Snapchat screenshots show an exchange between some of the Residential Carpentry students at CTC in Mount Joy.

"It's just terrible. It's like they don't care," said Victoria Andrades, a senior.

The Snapchats come after Victoria Andrades, a senior in the program, and her parents went to the school with allegations of harassment towards Victoria.

They say there were multiple occasions when Victoria's tools were stolen and classmates verbally harassed her.

They say one time she was physically assaulted.

"He just decided he wanted to do it and just put me in a headlock and was like pushing on my throat, and he let go, and just started laughing," she said.

Following that incident, Victoria's parents filed a complaint with Northwest Regional Police.

Fearful of how she may be treated if she goes back to school, Victoria's family wonders how she'll get her diploma in the trade.

"She will not get the credits that she's worked towards. She will not get the recognition she worked so hard to get," said Jean Sonnier, Victoria's father.

The family sees that as unfair.

"She works two jobs, studies, all the time, I am very proud of her. For her to go through this right now, having to see her cry because of the threats. It's hard," said Sonnier.

The school presented Victoria with these options: transfer to the Brownstown Campus, complete cyber school, take up welding, or complete commercial carpentry rather than go back to the residential class.

None of those seem right to Victoria's family.

"We asked, 'why does she have to change her entire life because of the way these kids are?' and they said, 'well, she can stay there.' 'But what can be done?' Unfortunately, from what we understand, not a whole lot," stated Sonnier.

FOX43 contacted the school. A spokeswoman for Lancaster County CTC said: "At Lancaster County Career & Technology Center student safety is our number one priority and we take all allegations of bullying very seriously. Early last week when our administration was made aware of the allegations, a thorough investigation was conducted and prompt remedial action was taken. We are seeking to work with the student and her family to make the necessary accommodations for her to successfully finish the school year."

Victoria said one boy was suspended after her family approached the school; however, an official with the school says she cannot confirm that, based upon the confidentiality of students involved.

Victoria's parents have said they will be talking with a lawyer to determine what is best for their daughter.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education said in an email to FOX43: "School entities, including CTCs, must adopt a policy to address incidents of bullying and must report such incidents in their annual Safe Schools Report. A school entity's policy should dictate the procedures to be followed when an incident of bullying is reported. The School Code does not set forth specific requirements for school entities to adhere to when incidents occur off of school property. The Department of Education takes seriously any allegations of hostility and/or bullying. In order to aid schools in maintaining a healthy and safe environment for students, the Pennsylvania Department of Education provides local education agencies and families with resources, including school visits, the availability of a toll-free bullying consultation line, and sample policies on issues like handling dating violence and preventing suicide. Mount Joy CTC has not contacted the Department to date."

Northwest Regional Police have not yet gotten back to FOX43.

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