Letters: An Inevitable Conversation

Japayuki: A Novel

Monday, February 24, 2014

How would a parent/school administrator respond to the following event?

   The following is a fictitious scenario; please read it carefully and thoroughly. It is based on an actual event recorded on a Texas high school campus. No names, no campus, no district is mentioned here. Those elements are not necessary. This scenario has played out in the past, is playing out now, and will play out in the future on campuses throughout the U.S., from elementary to high school campuses, public and private schools, to college campuses of every design. As you read this account, keep in mind the Penn State/Coach Sandusky case, and then think about the children we send off to school every morning.

   “It is a bright sunny morning. You wake your teenage daughter and struggle to get her motivated enough to get ready for school. She is no saint, but you believe, as do all parents, that with the proper education, she will be successful in life; and who knows, maybe she will even continue on to college (someday).  Dropping her off in front of her high school, you feel confident as she walks through the doors; she will be safe and engaged in the glowing curriculum your state has laid out for her. You continue on to work. Later that afternoon, you receive a call from the campus administration. Your daughter is being expelled from school; you are asked to return to the campus and pick her up.
   Here is what has transpired. Your daughter skipped a class, but the campus administrator did not assign her to the on campus suspension room, nor was she returned to her rightful classroom; instead, the administrator escorted your daughter to another classroom to sit and wait for the dismissal bell. While in the classroom (she is not the only “skipper” in the room) she is free to socialize with the other girls in the improvised holding room. The teacher in the classroom is a male, and he provides the girls with treats of chips, drinks, and candy. But that is not all the teacher provides. He provides your daughter with a “special” lesson for the day. He comes up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist; he bends her over, allowing his arms to cradle her breasts. He then begins to tighten his grasp on her body as he rocks her back and forth allowing her buttocks to contact against his groin.”

   End of scenario (for now). 
   Ask any educator and they will quickly explain that physical contact with a student, any student, much less a student of the opposite sex is never okay. This event would have gone un-noted had it not been for another teenager present in that room; a teenager with a cell phone. The entire incident had been captured on streaming video.

   So, my question again: how would you have reacted to viewing this video, or just reading a report about its existence? How would any administration reacted? Parents? Community? I will follow with what actually happened (allegedly) to see if you have assumed correctly. Please feel free to comment as you see fit.

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