EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah (ABC4) – Students at Rockwell Charter High School walked out of class on Monday after accusing a teacher of sexually harassing students for years, saying the administration is not doing anything about it.
Many of the students at the walkout said they don’t feel safe and felt scared and uncomfortable coming to school.
“He brought up on multiple occasions, strippers, and talking about just how teachers would sleep with their students to give them a better grade,” said student Sadie Card.
Some girls at the school claim the male teacher makes sexual comments daily while singling out students on their phones, asking whether they’re watching porn and other inappropriate comments.
“He’s made comments about girls’ bodies, what we’re wearing, what makeup we’re wearing, he made a comment about me in his dance class last year because I chose to wear a skirt with shorts underneath and he pretty much was making me do inappropriate dance moves that I didn’t feel comfortable with,” said student Katie Sokol.
The students are also accusing the administration of bribing students with a total of 10 excused absences to stay in class and abstain from participating in the walkout.
“That is completely unfair that if you stay in 30 minutes and not go to the protest, you get 10 absences made up,” said student Ellie Tate.
The students say they’ve already raised their concerns earlier this month to the school board, but say nothing has been done so far.
“I’m shaking because it makes me so angry that a monster can walk around here and think that he can sexually harass women on a daily basis and nothing can be done about it,” said Sokol.
“It’s continually happening to younger students,” said Tate.
Staci Sokol, a grandmother of a student at the school, said the teacher allegedly touched and spoke to her granddaughter inappropriately, forcing her to act out an inappropriate dance move. Sokol says her grandaughter is still suffering repercussions from the troubling incident.
“A very sexual, derogatory move and she didn’t feel comfortable doing that, so he physically put her down,” said Sokol.
Sokol said her granddaughter went from earning As to Fs due to anxiety from the alleged incident and says the only reason she continues going to school is to help other students.
“What child goes to school to protect another child?” asks Sokol. “It’s not her responsibility.”
The students said there needs to be a change in the administration.
“She doesn’t care about the kids, and she doesn’t care about our mental state, she doesn’t care about us being sexually harassed by a teacher that she hired, and we need a change,” said Card.
ABC4 reached out to the school and the administration about these issues. The response provided by the administration says, “We are aware of these accusations,” and offered no further comment.