PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A second Lakeridge Middle School student is claiming they were hit in the head by a Lake Oswego woman who was arrested after being accused of slapping a different student during the same career day presentation on Friday, April 7, Lake Oswego School District confirmed to KOIN 6.
In a letter sent to parents on Tuesday, Superintendent Jennifer Schiele explained the findings of an investigation into the assault allegations involving 43-year-old Ellen Sawo who was invited to the school as a guest speaker.
According to the district, Sawo’s presentation began just before 9:20 a.m., and within 10 minutes the school’s office was alerted of her alleged use of profane language and unwanted touching of students’ heads and shoulders. At around 9:36 a.m., Principal Dr. Kurt Schultz interrupted Sawo’s presentation and escorted her out of the classroom before she left the school without incident.
Once Sawo exited the school, the district says the school counselor and principal returned to the classroom where the alleged incident occurred and apologized to the students and explained they were making themselves available to students who wanted to discuss the interaction further.
It was then reported one of the students had been slapped by Sawo, prompting a response from Lake Oswego Police Department. Officers spoke with the student who was allegedly assaulted, the student who sat near them, a teacher and a second guest speaker who was present during the incident.
Police later learned that a second student had come forward and claimed Sawo hit them in the head.
Sawo was arrested sometime after she left the school and lodged at the Clackamas County Jail on a harassment charge. According to the school district, Sawo was released with a no-contact order.
The district added that Sawo “has been trespassed at Lakeridge Middle School, which means she is not permitted to be on school premises or to participate in school activities indefinitely. “
“I am sorry that our students and learning community were frightened by what happened during what should have been a fun and enriching experience,” Superintendent Schiele said in a letter. “We take threats and the stress they cause very seriously. In ongoing conversations, students and parents report mixed feelings about what happened at Career Day, which is valid and typical.”
Since the incident in early April, the district says trauma-informed counselors, social workers and psychologists have been made available to students throughout the school day. Additionally, the district says there have been ongoing conversations between students, staff, families and security professionals to develop ways to avoid a similar situation in the future, including updated vetting guidelines for visitors and volunteers.
The current school board policy does not require guest speakers, who are treated as visitors, to undergo a background check.
A spokesperson with the Lake Oswego Police Department told KOIN 6 News the law enforcement agency is “continuing to receive information about the incident and are looking into additional reports we are getting.”
The spokesperson added, “If, at the conclusion of our investigation, we determine that additional charges should be added, then we will forward that to our City Attorney’s Office. At this time, though, there have been no additional charges added.”