“Little Elm Facts” Website Created to Respond to Schools Protest
The Town of Little Elm has set up a fact-checking website to answer questions from the community regarding the protest at Little Elm High School on November 19, which resulted in the arrest of four students and the use of a taser and pepper spray.
The website, called Little Elm Facts, says its aim is to “tackle and clarify the distortions, misinformation and lies” surrounding the incident.
“It is good practice in publishing public information to provide verified and accurate information, especially when incorrect information is widely circulated,” the Little Elm Facts homepage states.
Little Elm Mayor Curtis Cornelious and Little Elm ISD Superintendent Daniel Gallagher made a joint video days after the protest saying video of the incident shared by students “is missing.[ed] context necessary to understand everything that is happening at the moment.
Responses from city officials to several questions were posted on Little Elm Facts, ranging from the reason for Friday’s protest, which focused on the handling a student sexual assault report, to the methods used by the police which led to the arrest of four students.
According to the website, Little Elm Police Chief Rodney Harrison will have the actions of officers who used force against students reviewed by an outside use-of-force expert. The expert has not been named, but the review will apply standards set by the U.S. Supreme Court, the website says.
Cornelious said two students assaulted police officers and a third attempted to interfere with an arrest, which resulted in the teen being pepper sprayed and later shuffled “when the student kept going. ‘advance towards the officer’. A fourth student reportedly spat on an officer.
In the Star-Telegram’s initial report, a spokesperson for the Little Elm Police Department said several students were pepper sprayed.
The school district plans to host a listening session at the end of the month regarding its sexual harassment reporting and investigation policies. In Monday’s video message, Gallagher said the district would also conduct a review of Friday’s protest and a follow-up investigation into the alleged sexual misconduct incident that sparked the protest.