The longer I’m alive in the United States, the less and less we seem to value women and girls. Men think they’re expendable, and now women get in on it by being complicit in lies, coverups, or even procuring victims.
I thought I had heard everything. But this story made me so sick I had to pass it along.
I first happened on it in a post by Boing Boing. A seventh grade special education student was expelled during the 08-09 school year. The reason? She reported being raped by a classmate. School officials didn’t believe her, and suspended her for filing a false report. When she was allowed to return to school the following year, she was provided with no protection from her alleged attacker. During that year, the harassment continued, leading up to another rape in the school library.
The girl was suspended again for, among other things, PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION. The suspension came even after her mother took her for an exam, found evidence that a sexual assault had occured, and DNA matching the boy in question was recovered.
BTW, I almost forgot to mention. After reporting the first rape, she was made to write an apology letter to her alleged rapist. And hand deliver it to him. I can’t even begin to imagine how humiliating and terrifying that must have been for her.
In the papers the school filed with the court, they deny everything, say she has no case, and they are not at fault. A couple of reasons in particular stand out:
1) Plaintiff failed to use reasonable means to protect herself. (WTH? Was she supposed to shoot him? Cut him? Bite his penis off?)
2) Some of the claims are barred by statute of limitations. Well, I went to Google. Not scholarly, I know. But a site called The Forensic Nurse says that prosecution of rape, forcible rape, attempted forcible rape, or any other Class A felony can happen ANY TIME in Missouri. So bite me.
3) They say their actions were justified and necessary. I can’t even dignify that with words.
4) “Some or all of plaintiff’s claims are barred by the public duty doctrine.” I had no idea what that doctrine was. So I looked it up. And it’s messed up for them to bring this in. Public duty doctrine says that a government entity (as a state or municipality) cannot be held liable for the injuries of an individual resulting from a public officer’s or employee’s breach of a duty owed to the public as a whole as distinguished from a duty owed to the particular individual.
So suspending her, forcing her to apologize to her rapist, suspending her again, accusing her of public display of “affection”, and never once providing her with protection or separation from her alleged attacker was better for everyone. No matter what it cost her.
Reactions have been fast and fierce.
Change.org has a petition up calling on the Republic School District to put sexual assault prevention programs in their schools.
There’s a Facebook page calling for volunteers to form a group that will work to vote out the school board members who are helping officials cover this up and blame the victim.
I’m sure there’s more to come…I’m still doing research.
If you want to see the original court papers, you can find them on my Scribd homepage.