At one high school in Massachusetts, 20 students are protesting what they call their school district’s poor response to allegations that a football player sexually assaulted two high school girls. The students protested at the same time the high school held an assembly about violence against women, where male students were asked to take a pledge to not commit violence. One of the student protesters called the action “too little, too late.”
A local report from Framingham Patch has more:
The assault reportedly happened in a corridor near the cafeteria during a study period, said [Framingham High School social worker Kevin] Fox. It involved a then-18-year old Framingham High junior and a freshman girl. It is alleged the student put his hand down her pants and fondled her.
Two months later, in June 2012, the same male was accused of assaulting a second girl, a junior.
The male student involved in both incidents is a student athlete, according to Fox and one of the two females who said she was assaulted. […]
Every day, this sophomore and senior girl see their alleged assailant at school. He lost five days of school at the end of June, but got to play the entire football season, said Fox.
“That sends the wrong message to these brave girls,” said Fox. “We don’t have control over what the police or the DA does, but we do have control here at Framingham High.”
The protesting students said that school administrators crack down on drugs and alcohol more severely than they do on sexual assault. Administrators need to do more, one student said, and should at least be just as tough on harassment or assault. Ultimately, what the Framingham teenagers are rallying against is part of a broader rape culture that blames the victim for doing something wrong — one that we see again and again in the actions of administrators, adults, and the media.
Neither of the Framingham girls or their families plan will pursue charges. But recent cases show that when victims of rape have pursued legal action, they’ve faced a barrage insults and even threats: The incredibly sad story in Steubenville has not gone away, and it’s unfolding again in a Connecticut town.