SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The mother of a former Springfield Public Schools student is suing the district, alleging her daughter was sexually assaulted by her classmates.

The lawsuit claims a 6-year-old girl was groped by two male students on two separate occasions when the child attended Pleasant View Elementary.

The former student’s mother says her daughter spoke to SPS staff after both incidents, but nothing was done to stop the behavior.

SPS issued a statement, saying they “take any allegations of assault with the utmost seriousness” but that “in this circumstance, appropriate policies and protocols were followed.”

According to the Child Advocacy Center, 400,000 children are sexually abused annually, but only 31 percent of children tell someone within a year of the assault.

Micki Lane, CAC’s Training Education Director, says there are signs parents can look out for at home that include crying, headaches, stomachaches and avoiding school.

Lane said supporting kids also looks like taking them seriously when they come forward about an assault.

“The first thing I’m always going to tell a parent or caregiver is to believe them,” Lane said. “Don’t question them or try to make them feel responsible for what may or may not happen to the other people or persons involved.”