Wednesday, April 24, 2013

School principal discourages female student from reporting sexual assault for fear of damaging star athlete's future. Athlete victimizes second student weeks later.

Courtesy of Alternet:

Last week the National Women’s Law Center, along with a local law firm in Michigan filed a complaint in federal district court on behalf a high school student who was sexually assaulted at school by a fellow student and star basketball player. In many ways the story echoes the tragic high school rape story from Steubenville, Ohio,which should lead all of us to ask just what kind of culture are we raising our children in, and what kind of culture is being cultivated at our high schools? 

According to the complaint, in 2010 the victim was sexually assaulted by a star player on the school’s basketball team. The assault took place on campus in a sound proof band room at Forest Hills Central High School. The victim notified a teacher who in turn reported the assault to the principal. But rather than open an investigation into the allegations, the principal discouraged the student and her parents from filing charges, telling them that doing so could ruin the assailant’s prospects at being recruited to play basketball for a Division 1 school. 

The victim and her parents ignored the principal’s request not to file charges because they were concerned that this student might attack other girls. Instead, the student and her parents filed a police report, and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department began a criminal investigation. Meanwhile, the school did nothing. 

As alleged in the complaint, two weeks later another female student was sexually assaulted by the same attacker. Despite a legal obligation under Title IX to investigate the assault and protect the student, the high school officials never interviewed the girl or her parents again, failed to conduct an investigation, and for two and a half weeks left the attacker in one of her classes. 

It gets worse. As word of the sexual assault spread among the student body, the female victim became the target of an intensive cyber-bullying and harassment campaign—both at school and online—that depicted her as a liar and a “whore” who was trying to bring down an innocent athlete. These cyber-attacks were only reinforced by the fact that the school continued to take no action to reprimand the male student. Not only did fellow students harass the victim, the attacker and his friends verbally and physically harassed the girl as well. They followed her around as she moved in and out of classrooms, through hallways, and around the school campus. The attacker sometimes pushed her into other students as she walked down the hallway, causing her to slam into lockers. Despite repeated efforts by the victim’s parents and other students to alert the principal and the school’s Title IX Coordinator about the viciousness of the harassment by the attacker and other students, school administrators took no action.

As I mentioned after reporting about Steubenville, this kind of thing happens every day, all over the world. And it is rarely reported for the same reasons that you see listed above.

When they come forward the victims are, even today, often blamed for the assault or accused of lying about the assault.  And with access to social media it is even worse today.

In my opinion this principal should be removed from the school and forbidden to work as an educator for the rest of his life. His decision to protect the male athlete, allowing him to victimize another student, is unconscionable.

It seems this principal would have simply let the young man finish school and move on to college where he could then sexually assault even more young women without interruption.


  1. Anonymous6:19 AM

    Pig Principal. Lose him.

    And those assholes that side with a criminal, taunting and harassing the victim - do they one day feel shame at their behavior? I wish and hope they do, find redemption and make it up to others.

    But probably not, they find new bullies, thugs and takers to toady to.

  2. Anonymous6:22 AM

    sadly, it's a story that is all too familiar across this country.

  3. Anonymous6:42 AM

    This is really no different than the GOP calling women 'sluts' and refusing us reproductive rights, is it? The GOP lawmakers are just these high school bullies all grown up, with fancy law degrees and the Kochs bankrolling their careers. They are never accountable, never responsible, never adults. And who pays? Women and girls. Every damn time.

    1. Anonymous4:51 PM

      ... and we wonder why kids think these things are okay. My blood just boils.

  4. Anonymous6:49 AM

    This has to stop!!! What kind of men are these kids going to grow up to be?

    Republicans come to mind as they marginalize women as a party!

    Pay attention for whom you cast your ballot folks!

  5. Cracklin Charlie6:57 AM

    Thanks for adding your opinion about what should be done to make the school administrators accountable, Gryphen.

    It seems that the first young lady, and her parents, in this most recent example, tried to seek justice for their daughter through the proper channels. Does the fact that administrators were notified of the first attack leave the school administration directly responsible here, for the attack of the second young woman?

    Maybe that principal should be charged as an accessary to rape.

    1. Anonymous8:56 AM

      "Maybe that principal should be charged as an accessary to rape."

      I was thinking the same thing. Also, too, the Title IX administrator.

    2. Anonymous12:23 PM

      The Catholic Church around where I am has the pedophiles and the Bishops that protect them. When they get in trouble and have to pay, what do they do? Throw out the nuns that truly work with families and the poor and do good things. The sick men get a luxury retirement somewhere and the women get moved out to go to a rougher neighbor hood. The sick, needy and poor always get screwed.

    3. "Does the fact that administrators were notified of the first attack leave the school administration directly responsible here, for the attack of the second young woman?"

      Yes. It does.

      If the principal hasn't been fired by now, he soon will be. The Board of Education will not stand behind such poor decisions.

  6. Randall7:09 AM

    Want to stop that sort of thing happening in high school?

    Then EVERY time rape is found to be true
    -- the state forbids that school from participating in ALL SPORTS.

    They can no longer participate in basketball, football, track...

    THAT would put the fear into the schools and the school officials.

    ...and the athletes.

    1. Leland12:08 PM

      Do NOT bet on that approach working! If anything, it would just make the schools be more adamant about not reporting things like this and work even harder to protect the athlete!

      Putting the Principal and the Title IX coordinator on the line for FAILURE to do their jobs would more effectively take care of the problem. In other words, it is THEY who need to go to prison, too.

  7. erica from dallas7:10 AM

    We hate what women endure in the Middle East but it seems like United States is following their culture of victimizing the victim. Where is the outrage from the community about letting this boy attend school and turning their back on the young victims? These adults completely lack integrity and we wonder why our country is such a mess.

  8. Anonymous7:34 AM

    This is the same attitude that protects Johns and gets prostitutes in trouble. It is the same attitude of why so many women do not report sexual assault. I hope the world is changing.

  9. Anonymous7:36 AM

    Times sure have changed. I was the first person in my class to earn a varsity letter (in my freshman year). Back then it was expected of all Letterman's Club members to behave as deputized authority figures. No one was bullied in our presence. No one. We broke up fights and delivered the instigators to the principal's office. When someone acted up in class, rarely, the teachers waited for us to restore order. It was a given that all Lettermen were leaders.

    In my four years as a Letterman there was only one fight in my high school (between two clueless first year girls). The bulling was everywhere, occurred every day, and was cruel beyond belief. Our teachers absolutely needed our help.

    Student Council members held even more sway over the student body. They were our elected leaders and everyone listened to them, especially the Lettermen, who acted as their enforcers.

    I blame the parents. If I had bullied a girl my father would have kicked my ass.

  10. Anonymous7:45 AM

    Who can imagine all that Sarah Palin has neglected to report? Her own brother, while married with two children, had sex with a young woman who also taught school. They may have thought it was an elementary school and the children are blind to adults that carry on in an inappropriate or sexual way. That young teacher did not report that the older authority was abusing his power. No, she got knocked up. Because they play the "I'm a Christian" games, there are no actual Christians, parents or school administrators to call them out for their despicable relations. These are grave bad facts even in a corrupt place like Anchorage and the whole state.

    O/T Mariah Carey's daughter Monroe [born May 11, 2011] has been wearing glasses for awhile now. She is not as old as Trig but you would think his guardians would have helped him when it comes to his sight.
    October 23, 2012 Carey Shows Off Daughter Monroe’s Pink Glasses

    IMO Sarah Palin's child abuse and neglect is blaring in the face of state and federal child protection services in this country. If we can't protect children, who can we protect? Arizona, Alaska and everywhere she goes there is child abuse/neglect in one way or another. Her daughter, too. Did Trig get paid for his reality show? Did Trig get paid for his appearances, ads and promotions for the Palin brand?

    1. Anonymous8:38 AM

      Of course, victims will be blamed, that is how sociopaths operate. Young boys and men have leaders like Chuck Heath, Jr. Why not go on to victimize? Isn't that what is taught in too many schools? Don't parents pretty much want to stay out of others sex lives around a school campus? Our schools are getting dumber and a hot bed of sexual predators can flourish with the stupids. Predators like Chuck Heath, Jr. know how to work things for their own self serving base desires. Tax payers pay the salaries of those type males and females and they don't demand any accountability or restitution. Go figure why so many parents let things slide and pay salaries to people of such disgusting behaviors.

      Yet Another Study Shows Low IQ And Right-Wing Ideology Go Hand-In-Hand

    2. Anonymous12:18 PM

      How do the PalinHeaths manage to get by with so much corruption and crime? Most of all what they do to kids. That dear a little boy that can't see is so precious. Think of the joy he would feel if he had people to care for his sight problems.

  11. Anonymous7:53 AM

    Call me old fashioned, but he ought to be raped a bit first and then fired....just sayin'

    1. Anonymous9:00 AM

      I agree.

  12. Anonymous8:11 AM

    Why aren't the adults -- principal, coaches and anyone else involved -- charged as accessories after the fact?

    To knowingly let a sexual sadist loose, to practice his crimes again on another victim, makes them accomplishes to this rape. And of the second rape.

    Community pressure will make these adults cringe when they confront the criminals. That's the least they should withstand in the midst of this criminal enterprise.

    1. In my state, teacher are required by law to report child abuse or face penalties that can include fines and jail time.

      I'd say this athlete raping a minor constitutes child abuse, even if technically it is committed by another child.

      In this state, more than one teacher would report this not only to local police but to state authorities. Then we'd see what would happen when the principal tried to cover his ass.

      Personally, I don't give a flying * about sports so anyone trying to influence me against reporting this by saying it would hurt the school team would be talking to stone. Likewise I wouldn't give a rat's * about this kid losing prospects for college. As far as I'm concerned he lost them the minute he locked that band room door. Let him finish his GED from prison and then see who will recruit him for the NBA.

  13. Karen in SoCal8:29 AM

    O/T - the last two days when I tried to read this site I was blocked by Google. The message said that there was suspected malware from something in a link. Today, no problem. Has anyone else experienced this?

    1. Yes most Google users had the same problem.

      The best I can tell is that it is connected to the embedding of Daily Show clips.

      However it is a false positive in that there is actually NO malware present on the site.

      In the future I will no longer embed Daily Show clips and instead use a link to direct visitors to Comedy Central to watch them instead.

  14. Anonymous8:33 AM

    In yet another bizarre incident involving assault-style weapons, Antonius Hart Sr. and his son Antonious Hart Jr. brandished an assault-style weapon at a drive-through window, because the server had forgotten to include their chicken wings. The incident occurred at a Pirtle’s Chicken in Memphis, Tenn.

  15. Dinty8:38 AM

    We have had a similar incident in the next town where the victim committed suicide a week after the event. While it may seem that this sort of thing is increasing, I am of the opinion that this sort of thing has gone on for a LONG time (I remember something similar happening when I was in high school almost 30 years ago) and we are now just starting to stand up and shed light on these disgusting events and not let them be handled quietly for fear of ruining the lives of rapists.

    I hope we finally stand up and not allow "Boys will be boys" to be an excuse to ruin or end the life of our daughters.

  16. Anonymous8:59 AM

    Sarah Palin Parody Mistaken for Real News

    ...The parody, originally posted on The Daily Currant — which clearly bills itself as “the Global Satirical Newspaper of Record — begins:

    “Sarah Palin called for the invasion of the Czech Republic today in response to the recent terrorist attacks in Boston.”

    It claimed Palin had given an interview on Fox News in which she confused Chechnya with the Czech Republic and called for the bombing of Pakistan, Iran, and many parts between.

    “I betcha I speak for a lot of Americans when I say I want to go over there right now and start teaching those folks a lesson. And let's not stop at the Czech Republic, let's go after all Arab countries.

    “The Arabians need to learn that they can't keep comin' over here and blowing stuff up. Let's set off a couple of nukes in Islamabad, burn down Prague, then bomb the heck out of Tehran. We need to show them that we mean business.”

  17. Anonymous9:20 AM

    New poll shows McCain support in Arizona dropping

    Read more:

    1. Anonymous12:12 PM

      Is that why he is pretending nice, nice with Obama? His dear legacy and all.

      Palin is going to be his legacy forever and the Az population that isn't brain dead must get more activated and get the whole truth out. About Mafia McCain and child abusing Palins. All of it, it hasn't stopped get them into the courts, grand jury anything to start with.

  18. My kids were high school athletes in the 90s and they and my husband & I were required to attended a meeting. At this meeting the Admin presented our school district's Athletic Code of Conduct, i.e., how they expected Athletes to behave both on and off the field, pool, court. track. They emphasized that every single requirement had been help up in court AND if your child wanted to participate, he/she had to sign it. I heard a couple parents grumble but most of us supported it because we already had most of the rules in place. I told the AD, "Isn't it sad that we even need to have this discussion?"

  19. As you say, this has been going on forever. When I was about twelve, an older girl I vaguely knew accepted a ride home after a party with two young men. When they attempted seduction, and she refused, they took her shoes and threw her out of the car along a country road. It was northern Minnesota, winter, and way below zero. She managed to reach a farm house, but her feet were damaged forever. Those young men went to prison for a short while, but only because their crime was so extreme. It’s disgusting, but a big chunk of society will always try to protect the males. They were the hunters, and our DNA hasn’t changed.

  20. Anonymous9:47 AM


    LMFAO ... John Boehner's 34 yo daughter is marrying a 38 yo black rastafarian from Jamaica.

    John's new son-in-law was arrested in Florida for pot.

    Boehner family gatherings will have better music from now on.

    1. Anonymous11:03 AM

      dont worry be happy................ya mon, you are looking a bit orange there jonny, yah

      hahaha, I bet the partiss will be SPICY from now on if they are even invited.
      asshat that the boner is

    2. Anonymous12:06 PM

      Good for daughter Boehner, love the music and culture. Not so organgy anal.

    3. Are you sure you didn't get this from The Onion? Sounds too funny to be true.

    4. Anonymous4:04 PM

      It is real ...see Gawker or National Enquirer.

      Guy has ugly dreads.

      Boehner will win the reggae vote in Ohio, but lose a few racist votes.

  21. Anonymous12:10 PM

    And so it goes...

    College Basketball Star Heroically Overcomes Tragic Rape He Committed,19097/

  22. Please find and publish the name of the high school and the school district. Anonymous reports about horrendous events that happen "somewhere" are pointless.

    1. Maizen Blue2:09 PM

      The name of the school is Forest Hills Central High School, renowned for its entitled rich kids since back in *my* day -- shortly after Man discovered fire. (NB: I graduated from another suburb's HS.) It is east of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The district is Forest Hills Public Schools.

    2. Learn to google.

      Five weeks after the sexual assault, the Kent County Prosecutor’s office authorized two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct against the attacker for his assaults on NWLC’s client and the second female victim at the school. The attacker later pled guilty to a single count of misdemeanor assault and battery. He was sentenced to attend Kent County’s Adolescent Sexual Offender Treatment Program for a second time. The only sanction the school imposed upon the student assailant was to temporarily bench him on the basketball court.

      Principal is now a Superintendent in another district.

  23. Chella3:33 PM

    I was sexually assaulted in high school. I was a freshman, he was a senior. Long story short, I was pinned up against a wall, and hands found their way under my shirt.

    He didn't know that I was an accomplished martial artist, so he was beyond surprised when I was able to break out of his hold, push him back as hard as I could, then I KICKED him in the FACE.

    I broke his nose, and I never got in trouble, because then he would have had to admit what he did to me.

    I never told anybody about what happened after I graduated. I was already painfully unpopular, and I didn't want to give the kids at school any more ammunition to harass me about.

    It was bad enough I was physically and verbally bullied every single day, I wasn't about to let anyone know why i broke his nose.

  24. Anita Winecooler5:40 PM

    This type of story always makes my blood boil. The administrator needs to lose his job and be blacklisted from ever working with kids. A teacher has to report child abuse under penalty of law, but this asshat gets off scott free?
    I think it's time we separate "sports" from "school". I'm sick of seeing kids pushed through without learning because they're valuable players, while everyone else is being held to a different level.
    If something happened to one of my kids, and someone in authority told me not to report it, all hell would break loose.


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