Change.org has found a horrifying story
out of a school in Alabama, based on lawsuits filed by students. Apparently teachers, concerned that certain students were sexually harassing their peers, asked a female student to wait in the bathroom as "bait" for one of the offenders. Her teacher then abandoned her there while she was raped, leaving her utterly traumatized. Here's the report:
The teacher coerced 14-year-old B.H.J., an African-American student who had reported being repeatedly sexually harassed, into meeting her tormentor in a bathroom, assuring her that they would "catch him." But nobody followed B.H.J. into the bathroom, and nobody stopped her from being raped; the teacher simply went back to her classroom and waited. B.H.J. is reported as being severely traumatized and in an almost completely non-communicative state.
And this was the second case of female students being used as bait the group has uncovered. According to Change.org writer Alex DiBranco, at another school two girls were used as "bait" during a crackdown on consensual sexual encounters occuring on school premises. This first incident also led to a lawsuit.
These kinds of shocking, egregious violations of the rights of young women come from a society that devalues teenage girls or views them as alluring objects of male sexual interest.
But even more so, this kind of abusive mistreatment comes from a misinterpretation of rape and sexual assault. These teachers and administrators make a grave mistake if they're seeing the problem as being about desire and teenage sexual dynamics rather than about power, control, and pathology on the part of the aggressor
. Any school efforts to address sexual aggression or harassment on campus should begin with a focus on the perpetrators, not the victims.
Go to Change.org
to read more about the lawsuits and take action against the school boards involved.