Richmond mother says 5-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted at Blackwell Preschool

A Richmond mother she says her 5-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted in a bathroom at Blackwell preschool.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 7:01 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2023 at 7:03 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond mother, Shayla Roberts, is deeply disturbed after she says her 5-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted in a bathroom at Blackwell Preschool on Jan. 23. She says the person responsible is also 5 years old.

“She is scared to go to the bathroom. She is scared to be alone in the bathroom,” Roberts said.

Roberts noticed her daughter had blood in her underwear after school and rushed her to Chippenham Hospital. She says she was horrified by what the nurse found.

“I spoke to the nurse and let them know what happened to my they checked her, the nurse came in, and said she has vaginal bruising,” Roberts said.

After coming home from the hospital, Roberts says she went to the school. There, she told the school administration the whole story. After their conversation, she gave the principal permission to take her daughter to the classroom to identify the little girl who hurt her.

However, she says, several minutes passed, and they didn’t return. After looking around the school, she found her daughter, the principal, and the suspected student in the bathroom talking.

Roberts says this was upsetting because it felt as though the principal and teacher were hiding from her. She says she was left out of a highly personal conversation with her own daughter.

“You took my daughter in this bathroom and questioned. I don’t know what conversation or what you were trying to do, but it really made me feel some type of way. I send my daughter to school to be protected,” Roberts said.

Roberts told NBC12 police were then called to investigate. The officers instructed her to go to VCU Medical Center to get her daughter a forensic exam and have her injuries photographed.

Roberts says after nearly two weeks of no update or accountability from the school leaders, she broke down at the RPS School Board meeting Tuesday night.

“She’s only 5 years old, and nothing has been done about this. My daughter doesn’t want to go to school anymore. I’ve called the school, and the only thing I get is different stories about what happened to my daughter,” she cried.

Roberts says she’s still waiting to learn how this happened, why there was no supervision, and what disciplinary action they plan to take.

She says that by turning a blind eye, the administration is potentially allowing this to happen to another child.

“I haven’t gotten any answers. It took me to call the school, call certain people, go in front of a school board full of people that I didn’t want to know my business, and cried my heart out just for them to hear what happened to my daughter. I just want them to know that it’s not okay,” she said.

RPS released a statement:

“The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. We take these allegations very seriously, and Blackwell Preschool’s administration is working closely with the Richmond Police Department in their investigation. A Remind message and letter was sent to Blackwell Preschool families notifying them of the investigation.”

Police confirm they’ve investigated and offered appropriate assistance.

Meanwhile, Roberts pulled her daughter out of Blackwell Preschool permanently.