“if it’s possibly not true it could be damaging to a person”
Signs were recently posted in hallways and bathrooms at Grant High School in Oregon which read “trigger warning: sexual assault” then the word “BEWARE” followed by the names of five male students.
This story is an example of the perpetuation of “rape culture” we have often covered on college campuses. Now it’s trickling down to high schools, apparently.
FOX 12 in Oregon reports:
Signs posted in Grant High School bathrooms accusing students of sexual assault
Last week, the names of five boys who go to Grant High School were anonymously posted on signs in the school bathrooms accusing them of sexual assault.
The signs say “BEWARE” above the students’ names, and encourage classmates to add more names to the list of “sexual predators in the hallways.”
FOX 12 obtained a photo of the sign circulating on social media from a student, who did not want to be named.
Portland Public Schools Director of Strategic Communications and Outreach Harry Esteve said the incident is concerning.
Parents received an email from Grant administrators Friday saying in part, “These signs – singling out members of our community – make many students, not just those listed, feel unsafe at school.”
“I feel like the fact that it’s on a list is important, but it’s also easy to attack people and if it’s possibly not true it could be damaging to a person,” said one student who did not want to be named.
All the students FOX 12 spoke with said they sympathize with their classmates who posted the signs. However, they said their method of speaking out could have been different.
Willamette Week has more on what led to this:
When administrators found out about the signs, they quickly removed them and sent an email to parents on Friday afternoon.
“It has come to our attention that signs were posted in some of our restrooms making accusations of a very serious nature against specific students, by name,” administrators wrote in an email sent by the principal’s secretary, Susan Davis. “These signs were also photographed and then distributed via social media posts. As an administrative team, we work to ensure all students feel safe at Grant High School. These signs—singling out members of our community—make many students, not just those listed, feel unsafe at school.”
The signs created by students mark a new approach by students who feel that Portland Public Schools has not done enough to protect them from sexual violence committed by their classmates.
That backlash emerged last year at Cleveland High School where, The Oregonian reported, administrators did little to address rape and harassment allegations, saying the district’s policies prevented them from doing more. Last year, students demanded PPS adopt better policies for handling allegations of sexual assault, including crafting a clear process for investigating allegations and empowering the Title IX coordinator to do more to oversee such investigations.
But school administrators were alarmed last week by the actions of Grant students—which named people as sexual predators who have never been charged with a crime.
That’s the whole point. The accused students haven’t been charged with any crime. This is rape culture activism with absolutely no due process.
As I said, we’ve seen this on college campuses. In February, I wrote about a similar incident at Middlebury College:
Middlebury Student Faces Expulsion for Publishing List of Alleged Campus Sexual Assaulters
The list she published had no evidence and was created through crowd sourcing. What a dumb decision.
The College Fix reports:
Student faces expulsion after publishing evidence-free list of alleged campus sexual assaulters
A student at Middlebury College says she’s facing expulsion after publishing a crowd-sourced list of reputed sexual assaulters under the banner of “Men to Avoid.”
The list, posted to Facebook in December under the “friends of friends” privacy setting, offered no evidence to back claims that included emotional abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape by students at the Vermont private college.
Middlebury senior Elizabeth Dunn posted the list in order to “move toward a conversation” about sexual assault that was inspired by the #MeToo movement, she told Vermont alternative weekly Seven Days.
While the post originally began as a lone accusation against a man who had allegedly assaulted Dunn several years earlier, Dunn invited readers to “dm [direct message] me more names to add to this status.”
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