Sincerely Amber: What Does Our School Do for Sexual Assault?

Why do you think the school administration does so little to help the girls who come forward with rape and sexual harassment allegations against boys at our school? Sincerely, #MeToo.

Dear #MeToo,

As a woman, the thought of rape happening to me doesn’t feel like a far-out idea. Considering that statistics show 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, the odds aren’t really in our favor.

An important thing to keep in mind is the district administration determines sexual assault policies. All schools follow Title IX of the Education Amendments that protect against any form of assault. Still, we have heard many cases of schools failing to protect their students. Stanford and Baylor University both have been on the headlines about students Brock Turner and Jacob Walter Anderson. Both sexually assaulted other students and weren’t adequately punished due to their reputation.
Sexual assault has become a game of “what was she wearing,” and it’s something we’re increasingly getting frustrated over. In light of Me Too movement, the topic of sexual harassment and assault is at the forefront, and we’re thankful for it. I decided to go and ask a few school administrators about our policies to see what they even do when a case of harassment or abuse is brought up.

According to one of our vice principals, Mr. Hanson, when a student reports sexual harassment or assault, it falls under the policy JBA and Title IX of the Education Amendments. These protect students, staff, and others against harassment and assault of any kind. Additionally, depending on nature, it’d be in partnership with our school resource officer.
This year our district completed a voluntary Title IX Audit about assault and harassment policies. During our academic seminars, they work to educate us on child abuse, intimate partner abuse, as well as what consent means. When also chatting with Mrs. Toderick, she said that all the administrators would report and take care of a student when they say something along the lines of harassment or assault.

Still, you ask why our school doesn’t do enough? It can sometimes feel like that. There have been incidents in the past where something maybe wasn’t handled as well as it could’ve been. The important thing is that the students are speaking up about it, and are approaching the administration on why this occurred.

Our school has the tricky thing of dealing with minors, so the rules are different. The school board creates the policies, so the staff has to follow those guidelines. The thing is, you can help make our school better. By advocating for better sexual assault policies, as well as pushing for new protocols to be put in place, you’re making it a safer environment for our students. Our school has the very start of what we should have to prevent this. By working with administrators and creating new learning opportunities and policies, we’ll be able to make this a place that can take on anything.

Sincerely, Gillian