A teen has been arrested for sexually assaulting a female assistant principal at Heritage High School in Rogers, according to police.
Fernando Rodriguez, 18, faces a Sexual Assault in the 2nd Degree charge following a reports that on November 30th he was accused of inappropriate physical or sexual contact with the school administrator while on campus. According to the school, when the incident occurred Rodriguez was a student at the high school. A school official said he is no longer enrolled.
According to a probable cause report, Rodriguez was taken to the counseling center at the school after talking to people who were "non-existent." While in the office, the affidavit states Rodriguez began rubbing the assistant principal's leg, arms, and grabbed her buttocks.
Also in the report, Rodriguez's sister stated he had recently quit taking medication for a medical condition and had been behaving erratically. Based on mental illness concerns, the affidavit states Rodriguez was admitted into Vista Health, a mental health facility.
Rodriguez is now in the Benton County Jail, awaiting a bond hearing.
This arrest had many parents questioning the safety of staff and students on campus, but Heritage High School Principal Karen Steen said student safety is the top priority.
"Everything is handled quickly, we take every piece of information, we investigate things thoroughly... We are all very vigilant... When we have an incident where that comes into question, we deal with it expediently."
But it is not just students everyone is working to protect.
"We're about the business of safety for everyone here. Students, staff, teachers, administration, everybody."
Steen believes campus is like a small community. They are all in it together, looking out for each other.
"Everybody on our campus, staff and students alike, know that they have people they can go to."
So if safety ever becomes a concern, Steen knows students and staff will be quick to report, keeping Heritage high School a safe place to learn.
"Everyone cares on the campus and we care for each other... You turn any corner, you're going to see an adult on this campus willing to listen."
Principal Steen said parents were not notified of the incident as it was a student discipline issue and never a safety issue for other students on campus.
On Wednesday afternoon, the school district released the following statement:
"We have a very strict student discipline policy and any inappropriate conduct is taken very seriously. We can't comment on a particular student's discipline, but the consequences for inappropriate contact can range from suspension to expulsion. When an unfortunate incident occurs, the school administrators act quickly to make sure students and staff can feel comfortable at school."