ANGRY parents are threatening to stop their children from attending two schools in East Lothian, after allegations of a six-year-old girl being sexually assaulted.
Crisis talks are being held with education chiefs and parents this week, after the incident was revealed on social media.
And families are threatening to boycott the schools next week unless action is taken.
Two boys were reportedly involved in the alleged incident and police have said that a 12-year-old boy has been referred to the Children’s Reporter in connection with the allegations.
The alleged incident, which did not happen on school premises, is said to have occurred in the Prestonpans area on Monday, January 23, but parents were kept in the dark until this Sunday, when the mother of the young girl took to Facebook to voice concern about a lack of action.
The schools cannot be identified for legal reasons.
On Tuesday evening, nearly 20 parents attended a meeting of Prestonpans Community Council demanding to know what action was being taken to protect their children.
And they threatened to keep their children home when schools returned from their half-term break on Tuesday, unless something was done.
One mother said: “Unless action is taken, East Lothian Council will have two empty schools next week.”
Parents told the community council they were appalled to discover the boys at the centre of the allegations, who are aged 12 and 10, were still attending classes in the area.
And they condemned the ring of silence which had surrounded the alleged incident.
Another mother said: “The schools were made aware of the incident and parents should have been told. Pupils have been suspended while investigations are carried out into allegations far less serious than this.
“Why, then, was no action taken in this incident? What is being done to protect our children?”
The parents of the young girl involved were also at the meeting.
Her father told the community council his daughter was afraid to leave their home and they had been left frustrated by the response of police and the schools to their concerns.
He said: “We were told the only thing we could do was move away ourselves. Nothing was being done and we believe other parents had the right to know what had happened.”
Martin Whitfield, chairman of Prestonpans Community Council, thanked the parents for attending the meeting and raising their concerns.
He said: “We do need a way for parents to be reassured and understand what is going to happen. The safety of our children is a priority.”
Councillor Willie Innes, East Lothian Council leader, was at the meeting and told parents he would ensure a meeting was held with Fiona Robertson, head of education, and the parents of the girl involved this week.
Yesterday (Wednesday) a spokesperson for East Lothian Council told the Courier: “East Lothian Council is setting up meetings with parent council chairs and office bearers as soon as possible, at which the head of education and headteachers will discuss the council’s child safety responsibilities under Edinburgh and Lothian Child Protection Procedures and listen to parents’ concerns.
“East Lothian Council is putting in place a temporary alternative arrangement that maintains its legal responsibilities in relation to education for all involved.”
Parents at the meeting agreed to wait for an action plan to be drawn up by education bosses following a meeting with the girl's parents, and sent to them before Tuesday, after it was suggested by East Lothian Council councillors, in attendance.
Police Scotland said: “Police were called following a report of a sexual assault in the Prestonpans area. The incident was reported to police on Monday, January 23, and a 12-year-old boy has since been reported to the Children’s Reporter.”