Attacked at school Family pushes for new law


On February 10th of this year, an 8-year-old female student was tackled and dragged into the Boys bathroom, at Herrmann Elementary School, in Sparta, Wisconsin. The assailant was a nine-year-old boy. According to the girl’s mother, Jessica Crandell, the 9-year-old boy received a 5-day suspension. While at a daycare, during those five days, the boy sexually assaulted a 4-year-old girl. “Superintendent Russ told me that in the state of Wisconsin, there is no law about sexual assault being grounds for immediate expulsion in any school in Wisconsin,” Crandell informed the Herald. “And because of his age, we cannot press charges against him. We are in a frustrating and difficult position, where that boy is still at the school. He is supposed to be one on one, but my daughter, who now wears a rape whistle, at age 8, and wears a 911 watch, has called us and said that she sees the boy, without any teachers around. And if the school tells me one more time, how much they are paying for the boy’s counselor… where is the school board? Do they realize they are separate from the Superintendent? Where is the relief from this? for our daughter, us and other families?” 

Pulled: From Wisconsin State Legislature website

See full statute at:

   120.13  School board powers.  The school board of a common or union high school district may do all things reasonable to promote the cause of education, including establishing, providing and improving school district programs, functions and activities for the benefit of pupils, and including all of the following:



  1. The school board may expel a pupil from school whenever it finds the pupil guilty of repeated refusal or neglect to obey the rules, or finds that a pupil knowingly conveyed or caused to be conveyed any threat or false information concerning an attempt or alleged attempt being made or to be made to destroy any school property by means of explosives, or finds that the pupil engaged in conduct while at school or while under the supervision of a school authority which endangered the property, health or safety of others,…

Jessica Crandell has found herself struggling with what to do since the attack on her daughter. Her first response was to go into “Momma bear mode.” An amazing support group of family and friends, however, has helped her to find and create a path of positive action and change. Crandell went on to say, “I tried to get on the agenda for our district school board, but have thus far, been reduced to my 2-minute-public comment, where I speak and there is no discussion at all. I am trying to change the law, so that sexual assault committed by a student, whether inside or outside of school, should be grounds for immediate expulsion, not up for debate, like it currently stands. I need as many signatures as possible, to be able to have our state legislation hear me. At the same time, in that law, I want help for the perpetrator. We must be strong for all of the children.”

The little girl’s screams were heard, and a teacher immediately came to the rescue. Despite this, her family has seen a change in their daughter. Although the bruises from being thrown down and dragged have physically faded, she no longer wants to spend extra time at school, and she has begun to hit. She is undergoing therapy, and the school is working with the Crandell family, to help her heal, and to help her feel safe.

Over a month has passed, and the attacker is back at school. Crandell wants to pass a law that requires expulsion after committing a sexually violent attack, with the ability to return only granted after therapy, and then upon examination and approval by a psychologist, stating that the attacker has reformed and is able to be a safe, nonviolent student.

In a school district that makes statements against bullying, a law like this makes sense. Crandell found herself against a wall, after asking to be heard and denied by the school board once, twice, three times in total. While frustrated, she understands and still supports the district and the board, who say that their hands are tied.

The Crandells do not want to seek vengeance and iterated those sentiments to the Sparta Area School District Board, at Monday nights meeting, during her allotted 2 minutes of public comment. They are also not suing anyone. They just want a better and safer world for their daughter, and for all children. Not only would their progressive and compassionate law protect victims, it would also help attackers to heal and grow into functional, nonviolent adults. Jessica put a strong emphasis on helping the young boy.

The Crandells are a military family. Husband Mark Crandell put twenty years of service in, for our country. An army lawyer at Fort McCoy has offered support and guidance, regarding how to proceed with the first steps in crafting, writing and enacting a new law. What they need now are signatures on their petition and more people to step forward with similar stories, and support. Some businesses have already begun to step forward, offering special sales, to help raise money, and a GoFundMe page will be created. Once 10,000 signatures are collected, along with evidence of a need for this new law, through more people sharing their stories. The Crandells’ will soon approach a new lawyer in Madison: one with experience in writing new laws.

Jessica reported that another victim wrote to her, one whose voice was never heard. Without intervention, her attacker went on to commit many more sexual assaults. He grew into adulthood and was finally caught during one attack. He then committed suicide. His earlier victim believes that had she been heard, had the attacker been helped, many lives would have been far different, and his life could have been saved.

If you or someone you know has a story to share, please reach out to Jessica Crandell, on social media or via email, at Your story will be shared anonymously and will help affect positive change. If you know someone who can help or offer support in any way, including regarding crafting new legislation, please reach out. Anyone and everyone can take immediate action and help by signing the petition at:

At the time of writing this story, there were 2,633 signatures, with a goal of 10,000 signatures. The signatures are not relegated to Wisconsin residents, according to Jessica. “Share and share again, please. We just want to ensure the safety of all children,” she stated.

Follow the story for updates on the law and to learn about more ways to help at

The Monroe County Herald reached out to both the Sparta Area School District Board President, Anthony Scholze, and Superintendent, Sam Russ, via email. From Board President Anthony Scholze, “Thank you for your inquiry regarding Mr. and Mrs. Crandell. At this time, I will defer to Mr. Russ for comment.” 

From Superintendent, Sam Russ, "Due to student confidentiality, I cannot go into the specifics of this situation. I can tell you that Sparta Area School District is dedicated to, and will work to have the safest learning environment for all."

Benny Mailman, Jennifer Rodriguez Moran, Jessica Crandell, Sparta, School, new law,


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