JBHS Students Raise Flags Over School’s Response to Alleged Assault

Several students assembled outside of John Burroughs High School Thursday Dec. 8 in protest of the school’s response to reports of sexual assault. | Photo by Gavin J. Quinton / Burbank Leader

Several students gathered this week in front of John Burroughs High School to protest the school’s response to an alleged series of sexual assaults that students say are making them feel unsafe on campus.
The demonstrations — one on Tuesday and another on Thursday — were put on by more than a dozen students who said that one alleged student offender, a minor male, is responsible for multiple sexual assaults.
One victim took to social media, saying that a Burroughs assistant principal did not follow administrative policy in responding to her initial complaint of sexual assault, which allegedly was reported in August.
“I reported my sexual assault with my [police] case number to [an administrator] here … and she ignored Title IX, she didn’t reach out to the police, and she said she forgot it ever happened,” the victim said in a public TikTok post published Tuesday.
The Leader is not identifying the minors involved or their families. Calls made to JBHS administration for comment were not returned by the Leader’s press deadline on Friday, though Burbank Unified School District Superintendent Matt Hill issued a statement.
Under the federal law Title IX, and detailed in the district’s student rights policy, BUSD is required to take immediate action to investigate a case when it gains knowledge of a possible Title IX violation, which includes sexual harassment or sexual violence such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion.
A source close to the situation told the Leader that more than two months after the initial complaint was made to the school, neither the Burbank Police Department’s school resource officer nor the victim’s parents had been contacted regarding the incident.
Title IX requires that the school’s compliance officer investigate and compile a comprehensive report of the facts surrounding the case within 60 days of receiving it.
Instead, the victim alleges that when she followed up on the complaint, the administrator in question said she had forgotten about the report.
“One would assume that if a student makes a complaint about feeling unsafe, there would immediately be some sort of form filled out, report filed, notification to parents … some kind of call to action,” the source added.
Parents were finally contacted by BUSD staff after the initial protest occurred earlier this week, the source continued: “There was literally no paper trail, no email, no follow-up. There was no action or outreach to be seen until several free speech events and a TikTok made it unavoidable.”
BUSD Superintendent Matt Hill told the Leader on Thursday the case is being investigated at the district level involving the Burbank Police Department, though he was unable to confirm details about the investigation.
“We are aware of the alleged incident of sexual assault/rape involving JBHS students. Please know that school and district administrators are working actively with the students involved, their families, Burbank Police Department, and mental health professionals,” Hill said in an email.
No arrests in connection with the investigation have been announced.
“We want to make sure everyone is heard and supported. Given privacy issues, we will not be disclosing any further information publicly,” Hill said.
“If anyone has information that they would like to share, please contact the Burbank Police Department or the JBHS administration,” he added.
The Burbank Police Department’s non-emergency phone number is (818) 238-3000. The John Burroughs High School administration can be contacted at (818) 558-4777.
This report is part of an ongoing Leader investigation.