Thursday, August 25, 2011

Republic School District is the worst in Missouri; school accused of making middle school rape victim apologize to attacker

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 2:17 PM

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Republic School District gets my vote for the worst in Missouri. Hands down. If you make a middle school special-ed student write a letter of apology to a boy who she reported for raping her, then you're the worst.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that a lawsuit has been filed against the district, alleging that the schools' administrators failed to protect the girl from a boy "who harassed her, sexually assaulted her and raped her."

The lawsuit says the girl was raped during the 2008-09 school year, but district officials didn't believe the girl. So she recanted (more on this in a second), and school administrators allegedly made the girl write a letter of apology to the boy and deliver it to him. Then the school expelled the girl for the rest of the school year and referred the case to juvenile authorities for filing a false report. It gets worse.

About the girl recanting, check this bit of info in her school file: The girl is "conflict adverse, behaviorally passive and ‘would forgo her own needs and wishes to satisfy the request of others around so she can be accepted.'"

The lawsuit contends that school officials didn't report the girl's claims to the Division of Family Services or to juvenile authorities, despite being mandatory reports.

Jump to 2009-10, and the girl is back in school. The boy continues harassing her and assaulting her. The lawsuit reportedly says the girl didn't report him because she didn't want to be called a liar. She also didn't want to get kicked out of school.

Then in February 2010, the boy allegedly rapes her in the school library. School officials again doubt the reported rape. They were wrong. From the News-Leader:

While school officials allegedly expressed skepticism of the girl, her mother took her to the Child Advocacy Center and an exam showed a sexual assault had occurred. DNA in semen found on the girl matched the DNA of the boy she accused, the suit says.

The boy was taken into custody in Juvenile Court and pleaded guilty to charges, the suit says. The specific charges are not stated in the suit.

“School Officials acted recklessly in conscious disregard of and with deliberate indifference to the risk of [the girl’s] safety by failing to conduct an investigation into her allegations of rape and sexual assault, by suspending her from school, and by failing to provide her with any protection from her rapist,” the suit says.

The district is denying the claims, calling them "frivolous" and with "no basis in fact or law." Oh, and the district is seeking "reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.” That would be bad enough, but the district went on to blame the victim. From the News-Leader:

The girl failed and neglected to use reasonable means to protect her self, the response says. Any damages the girl may have sustained, “were as a result of the negligence, carelessness, or conduct of third parties over whom the District Defendants had neither control nor the right to control,” according to the school district response.

Worst. District. Ev... oh, wait. I guess it does make some sense.

H/t: Nerdy Applebottom and Jezebel.

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