Editor, It is in the best interest of the students to create a safe environment in which a student who is accused of rape is not moved to another school.
According to The Washington Post article “Sexual Assault Reports Sharply Increased at K-12 Schools, Numbering Nearly 15,000, Education Department Data Shows” about 15,000 students are experiencing sexual assault in school yearly. Prior to this data, there was an estimated 9,00 students who were victims of sexual assaul. This data includes students and staff as the abusive party. While there are about 19.6 million students in the United States, no student should fear being sexually assaulted while at school.
Students around the country have been speaking out about sexual assault and the schools not getting involved. According to The Dallas Morning News, a student was sexually assaulted outside of school in eigth grade, however she went to her school counselor to receive support and report the incident. Despite this, the school refused to help her as the assault happened outside of school. Students are able to report other violent crimes to the school, however, it is a nationwide crisis that students are unable to report sexual assault to the school. It may not have happened on school grounds, however, it did involve the students which makes it the school’s responsibility to protect the victim. Five years later, she decided to speak out against the school and their choices which ended in protest.
As a teenage girl, it is concerning to know that a sexual assault within the school ended with the student simply being moved to a different school during the investigation.
The school system needs to adjust the protocols associated with sexual assault cases where rather than transferring the student, they are instead placed in a separate learning environment, for example homebound or distance learning. The county already has a virtual program which could be used in these situations.
Sally Ishmael, Purcellville