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Wentzville 8th grader suspended, district won't allow family to see video of alleged incident

"We asked could we see the video footage of what's going on, they denied it and said no, you can't see it,” his grandmother said.

WENTZVILLE, Mo. -  An 8th-grade boy is accused of groping a girl on the school bus. His family is furious because the school district won't let them see the evidence against him.

"This is horrible, this is beyond,” Marquita Butler said.

She said the accusations against her grandson, Josh, are shocking.

"Made inappropriate sexual comments and touched a female student inappropriately on the school bus,” she reads from a letter sent home by Wentzville Middle School.

Josh was suspended before winter break and may learn this week if he will be expelled. Marquita believes Josh when he says he didn't do it.

“If he's being accused, I’d like to see what's going on,” she said.

The alleged incident happened on a bus, where there's video surveillance.

"We asked could we see the video footage of what's going on, they denied it and said no, you can't see it,” she said.

The school district told 5 On Your Side that is their policy, citing a federal privacy law called FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

“When the privacy interest of multiple students are involved, and student records of multiple students are involved, the district does not disclose confidential student records,” Mary La Pak, spokeswoman for the Wentzville School District, said in an email.

But FERPA’s page on the U.S. Department of Education website has different guidelines.

“When a video is an education record of multiple students, in general, FERPA requires the educational agency or institution to allow, upon request, an individual parent of a student (or the student if the student is an eligible student) to whom the video directly relates to inspect and review the video,” it reads.

Marquita just wants to see the evidence against her grandson, and she believes that's her right.

The family says there's a hearing Wednesday. That’s when they'll learn if Josh's suspension is extended or if he's expelled.

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