Can The School System Be Charged With Aiding And Abetting A Rape?

Can The School System Be Charged With Aiding And Abetting A Rape?

True story. I once went on a date with a teacher. It was going okay until she told me a story about a kid at her school. She basically said the kid was developmentally disabled and that his mother had insisted he be allowed to go to school with “normal” kids. She then said, for all intents and purposes, he got molested in the bathroom by another student. Her reaction to that was an eye roll and an attitude that came across as, “What did she expect when she put her son in a regular school? I can’t believe we have to be bothered with this silliness.” In case you’re wondering, yes, that story alone earned her the handshake-of-doom she got at the end of the night.

The reason that story is relevant is that it reminds me an awful lot of this travesty.

A southwestern Missouri school district has denied accusations in a federal lawsuit that officials failed to protect a middle-school girl from being raped, calling the lawsuit “frivolous” and saying the girl “neglected to use reasonable means to protect herself.”

The girl, identified as a 7th grade special education student, was raped twice during the course of two school years, according to the lawsuit filed July 5 against Republic School District in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. The lawsuit was first reported by the Springfield News-Leader newspaper in Missouri Wednesday.

…The girl was first raped at Republic Middle School in the spring of 2009, according to the lawsuit. After the mother notified the school, the girl described the rape and “multiple sexual assaults” she’d experienced at school that year to Duncan, Mithelavage and Ragain. They then told the mother that they thought that her daughter made it all up.

During subsequent meetings described in the lawsuit as “intimidating interrogations,” the lawsuit says the officials told the girl that they thought she was lying about the rape. The girl’s mother was later told that her daughter recanted her story during one of those meetings.

The family’s lawyers note in the lawsuit that the girl’s school file contains a psychological report describing her as adverse to conflict, passive and “would forego her own needs and wishes to satisfy the request of others around so that she can be accepted.”

Following instructions from the school, the girl wrote an apology to the boy she accused of raping her and had to personally give it to him, according to the lawsuit. She was then expelled for the remainder of the 2008-09 school year. The school also told “juvenile authorities” that she filed a false report.

The girl returned to the middle school for the 2009-10 school year and tried to avoid the boy, according to the lawsuit. It didn’t work. She was sexually assaulted again but didn’t tell anyone because she was afraid of being expelled again, her lawyers wrote in the lawsuit. She was allegedly raped a second time Feb. 16, 2010.

School officials were notified of the incident and allegedly doubted the girl’s claim, saying they’d “already been through this,” according to the lawsuit. The girl was also examined and found to have been sexually assaulted. However, she was suspended from school for “disrespectful conduct” and “public display of affection,” her lawyers wrote in the lawsuit.

The school district denies all of the family’s claims, saying that if anything happened it was the “result of the negligence, carelessness, or conduct of third parties over whom the District Defendants had neither control nor the right to control.”

That is just horrific. Everyone involved in this story should be flushed out of the school system and into careers away from children. Additionally, it’s also worth noting that if we had a voucher program in place, parents who were forced to deal with that sort of dull-eyed, uncaring school system would be able to afford to move their kids to a better school. We talk a lot about doing things “for the children” in this country, but the best thing we could do for the children in many cases would be to give them freedom — freedom from the government, freedom to choose their own school system, and freedom from “help” they get from government employees.

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