So, I offered a scenario where a female student, hopefully not your daughter, but certainly someone’s daughter is essentially manhandled in a Texas high school classroom. The whole incident is captured on streaming video by another student; a proper and thorough report is expeditiously submitted to campus administrators by a second, responsible teacher, with a copy to the campus police officers. So the assumption here would be the suspect teacher is immediately removed from the classroom, placed on administrative leave pending a district investigation. The student victim is evaluated by the school nurse, in that she is a minor, perhaps a counselor is involved. Her parents are summoned and their rights are explained. The Special Victims Units of the local police department is involved.
That is way you thought it would all work out, correct? Did you too naively assume that the female (minor) would be the first and foremost concern of the district? In most districts, she would have been; and to their credit, this same campus, within a three year period, did get it mostly right. In four cases of male teachers engaging female students, three of those male teachers were removed/dismissed. In this ‘scenario,’ the fourth case, here is what transpired.
The teacher submitting the report was summoned to the administrative offices. He was asked to surrender all copies of the report he had produced. All copies were shredded. Then he was directed by administration not to discuss the event further with anyone for any reason (aka, district gag order). The female student who had recorded the assault on her phone was summoned. Her phone was confiscated; her SIM card (evidence) was destroyed by a campus police officer. Typically, campus police officers are on campus to protect the students; in this case, they simply intimidated a student into silence. (Note here the student whose property was wrongfully confiscated and destroyed was a special needs student.) The female student who was assaulted in the classroom was expelled, classic ‘victim blaming.’ The teacher who assaulted the female student in the classroom during instructional time was allowed to continue in his position until retirement.
So, how many of you guessed the outcome right? We hear so much these days about school yard bullying, but there is also a lot of just plain bull being spewed on ‘reforming’ education. There are so many ‘educational organizations’ hawking their good deeds and lofty goals and objectives on Twitter and Google+. While they tweet and post their glowing selfies (asking for your financial support in the process) our daughters are apparently fair game in the classrooms. So, the next time you sit and listen to your child’s campus administrator brag about the student being first, well, take that with a grain of salt. What he probably means is, your child will come first, after he first protects his own ass and pay check. And, when the administrative staff becomes the just another intimidating ‘gang’ on campus, start considering home schooling.
Next time I will write my take on what the district leadership communicated to this Texas community, and essentially the nation in accomplishing this classic Penn State style cover up; for now, undersrtand that the mission and function of this 'task force' to protect students against sexual assault on our campuses is to work with others agencies in developing a coordinated federal response to campus rape and sexual assault. This function if only advisory in nature. If you really want to help finally break this cycle of child abuse within our ailing school system, write your local school board and demand all incidents of sexual assault on district campuses be made public, that all predators be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and that our children be truly considered first and never blamed for sexual assaults against them. Our daughters deserve that much.