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Legal “red tape” will be challenge for Syracuse family seeking answers after assault

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Syracuse, N.Y. — Parents of the alleged victim say they don’t feel safe sending their son back to school unless they know he’ll be safe. They also want to know what disciplinary action has been taken by the district on the suspect, which could be hard to find out. We’ve been asking both Syracuse Police and the Syracuse City School District questions, including about the status of the 11-year-old suspect and whether he’s in school or on some sort of suspension. The district points to student privacy laws when they refuse to tell us.

“There can be a lot of red tape and difficulty in assessing the situation and finding out you know, from the victim’s parents standpoint, what’s being done to protect my child in this situation,” explained Leslie Silva, a Partner with Tully Rinckey PLLC. She added, “this comes up in a number of our cases that we see here, and it’s unfortunate but there always is a dilemma because the parents do not know and will not know because the school will not discuss it because of FERPA…what the punishment or the reprimand was for the other student.”

There’s still an open case in the family court system of the 11-year-old Syracuse boy who is a Clary Middle School Student. We first reported on Tuesday that Syracuse Police say they arrested the student, charging him with an attempted criminal sex act after an incident on a school bus in late September. Police confirm they reviewed video footage from on board that bus as part of their investigation.

A spokesperson for bus company First Student, which contracts with the school district tells us they are investigating the matter further, and are continuing to support the local investigation. The spokesperson added that due to the case being active, they can’t comment further.

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