Vista Ridge High installing cameras after sexual assault allegations
CEDAR PARK, Texas - 18-year-old Vista Ridge High School senior Sydney Gutierrez has some good news.
"Vista Ridge is putting in 2 cameras in 2 of the 7 staircases so I'm very proud of that and it's exciting that it's happened so quick," Gutierrez said.
Here's a refresher -- when we first brought you her story two weeks ago, Gutierrez told us she had been sexually assaulted twice in the stairwells at Vista Ridge: once when she was a freshman...a boy walking her to class pinned her against the wall, kissed her and tore at her clothes.
She told us it happened with a different guy a couple of years later.
"Also in the staircases, my Junior year. To put it nicely, it was a little bit more violent of an attack," she told us.
Gutierrez says she put the attacks behind her and didn't tell anyone, even her parents.
But when she heard similar stories from her friends, she conducted an online survey and brought the results to the school board's attention
As of this Friday, Gutierrez says of the 224 students who have taken her survey, 49 students have either been sexually assaulted or harassed at Vista Ridge, many of the incidents happened in the stairwells.
Fast forward to a few days ago, Gutierrez says parents received an e-mail from Vista Ridge principal Paul Johnson saying "I am pleased to announce that LISD will be installing cameras in the two stairwells in question over Spring Break. In addition to the cameras, we increased faculty and staff supervision in areas of concern and throughout the campus," Johnson wrote in the e-mail.
Gutierrez says the response to her activism came fast.
"That makes it even more exciting that like 'Hey I'm actually being heard.' And you know that wasn't necessarily the first response that I got," she said.
She's hoping the district is not done yet.
"I think it's exciting but it brings me to the point that I think it's imperative that we have more cameras and just 2 isn't going to be the complete solution and we still need the education aspect of it. We still need to realize that it's going to happen anywhere not just these 2 specific locations," Gutierrez said.
Sydney Gutierrez says she'll be continuing her fight to get cameras installed in the remaining 5 stairwells.
We did reach out to Leander ISD but they could not comment because of Spring Break.
In that e-mail the principal sent out, he says the school will be conducting a student safety survey after the break.