The East Ramapo school district is encouraging any other potential victims of sexual assault to come forward after four Chestnut Ridge Middle School students were charged with rape in the alleged attacks on two girls.

The incidents occurred off school grounds. Carton, head of security at the district, said he was made aware of the boys’ arrests Monday morning, and officials spoke with principals of East Ramapo’s elementary and middle schools Monday night and Tuesday morning. Teachers were asked to talk to their students and encourage anyone who also may have experienced sexual assault to speak with a school counselor confidentially, Carton said. The district would notify police if there were a rape or other allegation, he said.

He said the district regularly investigates reports of cyber bullying, and would do so if it were reported in relation to this case. Victims have told The Journal News they were further traumatized by gossip on Facebook after the attacks. Under the district’s code of conduct, cyber bullying is prohibited and students who commit it can be subject to aggravated-harassment charges, Carton said. He noted that a new cyber bullying law takes effect July 1 in New York, focusing on prevention and protection.

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