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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cheerleader Ordered to Pay School District After Refusing to Cheer for Her Accused Rapist

Posted by on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Remember the case of the Texas high school cheerleader who was kicked off the team because she refused to cheer for her accused rapist—a fellow student and athlete—at basketball games?

Maybe you, like I, missed the news last week that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of her case after a federal appeals court ruled that the cheerleader was representing her school, not herself, when in uniform. As such, her right to free expression was not infringed upon. The court concluded that she had no right to remain silent when ordered to cheer, by name, for her alleged attacker.

There's more:

Federal courts have also ordered H.S. and her parents to reimburse the district more than $45,000 for the costs of defending against a frivolous suit.

The family's lawyer, Laurence Watts, said the ruling means students who try to exercise their right of free speech can be punished for refusing to follow "insensitive and unreasonable directions."

The athlete, meanwhile, pleaded guilty in September 2010 to a misdemeanor assault charge and received a suspended sentence.

UPDATE: Larry Watts, the girl's attorney, has launched a paypal campaign to help cover the $45,000. “I got so many calls about this case," Watts says. "It's heartening to see this concern. This country is in a desperate straights right now. In Texas, more so than in other places."

To donate, send money via paypal to wattstrial@gmail.com

 

Comments (33) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Allie 1
I've been wondering if there's any way we can chip in for that? 'cause it is so wrong.
Posted by Allie on May 11, 2011 at 2:38 PM · Report this
Fenrox 2
Sigh.
Posted by Fenrox on May 11, 2011 at 2:39 PM · Report this
3 Comment Pulled (No) Comment Policy
4
Sweet Jesus, this is horrifying.
Posted by KayElle on May 11, 2011 at 2:42 PM · Report this
Arkham 5
That is so fucked up. There must be a way for people to contact her family and contribute.
Posted by Arkham http://amaranta20.deviantart.com/gallery/ on May 11, 2011 at 2:46 PM · Report this
6
The real question is how did he get only an assault and misdemeanor charge. Also, ages?
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on May 11, 2011 at 2:49 PM · Report this
7
Accused rapist? So he's technically still innocent or does that not count for black rapists?
Posted by Smokin' Joe on May 11, 2011 at 2:51 PM · Report this
8
This makes me ill.
Posted by genevieve on May 11, 2011 at 2:52 PM · Report this
9
Over 37,000 per year versus less than 10 (ten) a year.
Posted by Another amazing Disparity of Diversity! on May 11, 2011 at 2:54 PM · Report this
Arkham 10
I found the name of her lawyer online so I'm contacting him to see what we can do.
Posted by Arkham http://amaranta20.deviantart.com/gallery/ on May 11, 2011 at 2:55 PM · Report this
11
I agree, @1

Is there a way that we can put together some sort of fundraiser (with the help of SLOG's voice) to help with the legal fees? It could offer a little support to the victim, while also taking care of the absurd judgement.
Posted by AnonymousCapHiller on May 11, 2011 at 2:55 PM · Report this
Lissa 12
@11: I would absolutely contribute to a fund to help this poor girl. This is a travesty.
Posted by Lissa on May 11, 2011 at 3:01 PM · Report this
13
It cost her $45,000 to get raped.

Posted by erly on May 11, 2011 at 3:13 PM · Report this
14
@7 He may be innocent of rape, but he already stated he was guilty of other offenses, sexual assault or sexual harassment, I believe. It's been a bit since I looked it up. So, regardless of whether or not he raped her, it is already known to be the case by his own guilty admission that he is guilty of something that would make it understandable for her not to cheer for him.
Posted by uncreative on May 11, 2011 at 3:14 PM · Report this
leek 15
I'm all for helping pay this money if there's no way around it, but more for fighting the judgment altogether. Is there any further possibility of appeal?
Posted by leek on May 11, 2011 at 3:28 PM · Report this
16
White libtard "philosophy" makes it easier for blacks (already prone to rape by genetics) to get away with RAPE of white girls, like this victim.
Posted by Way to go naive white libtard do-gooders, kumbaya! on May 11, 2011 at 3:32 PM · Report this
17
Is this what "racial and social justice" looks like?
Posted by You Gonna Git Raped on May 11, 2011 at 3:39 PM · Report this
18
Fuck the school's lawyers, who are making this girl pay their fees. They could waive them. They aren't. Who are they? We need to send angry letters to them, the bastards.
Posted by gnot on May 11, 2011 at 3:41 PM · Report this
19
Can we just turn off the unregistered comments? the sock puppet is making me amost as ill as the story.
Posted by genevieve on May 11, 2011 at 3:42 PM · Report this
OuterCow 20
Holy fucking shit I can't remember being this angry. Are the trying to set the gold standard for slut-shaming in Texas? We do not live under the fucking Taliban. She didn't have free speech rights because she was wearing a school uniform? WTF!? FUCK I WANT TO HIT THINGS. Please stay on this story, I want to know what I can do.
Posted by OuterCow on May 11, 2011 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Fnarf 21
Donation sent. Supreme Court is full of shit. Texas school is full of shit too -- how is "it was the SCHOOL cheering for the rapist athlete, not her personally" any kind of excuse? The school should be expelling his ass instead of cheering him to victory.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 11, 2011 at 3:48 PM · Report this
22
Negroes and Mexicans run mist Texas school districts.
Posted by Celebrate Diversity on May 11, 2011 at 3:54 PM · Report this
23
 @Fnarf

At no point was this boy found guilty of raping this girl. But I guess that doesn't matter when it's a black man accused of raping a white girl. He must be guilty. Just look at him.
Posted by To kill a mocking bird? on May 11, 2011 at 3:58 PM · Report this
OuterCow 24
@19 But you can! Top of the window right below the green bar that states the number of comments are the buttons to turn unregistered comments off or on.
Posted by OuterCow on May 11, 2011 at 4:01 PM · Report this
schmacky 25
Hmmm...OK, at the risk of incurring righteous Slog wrath, I'll attempt to defend this.

Let me start by asking this question: Why would she WANT to cheer for such a bunch of backwards hick fuckheads? The school and the cheer squad obviously don't give a fuck about her or her feelings, so why would she even desire to be part of an organization whose ostensible purpose is promoting school pride? The same school that thinks she should be A-OK with cheering for her own goddamn rapist?

She didn't have to cheer. It all would've gone away if she had just quit. For them to require this of her was obviously a bunch of bullshit. The minute they threatened to kick her off the team for not wanting to do it, she should have told them to shove their pom-poms up their asses, and walked away. But she didn't do that. She effectively tried to sue the school for making her cheer WHEN SHE DIDN'T ACTUALLY HAVE TO CHEER. If she chose to be on the squad (which, again, I have no clue why she would want to be), then you have to do what the squad does, even if you don't like it. Don't want to do the cheers? Don't be on the squad. That's what the court was getting at when it said she was "representing the school, not herself."

As unbelievably insensitive as the school acted, you can't sue them over it. She had free will here. Nobody "ordered" her to do anything. And while I sympathize with her financial plight and have nothing but disgust for the school and the squad, I also think she needs to look in the mirror to ask herself why she cares so much about cheering for people who so clearly don't care about her.

I await the virtual throwing of rotten vegetables. One request: Please don't accuse me of "blaming the victim"...I'm only asking whether it was appropriate to sue, not excusing the school, the squad, or the accused rapist.
More...
Posted by schmacky on May 11, 2011 at 4:21 PM · Report this
26
"a bunch of backwards hick fuckheads"...

I think you meant to write "blacks".
Posted by Blacks did this, not white rednecks. on May 11, 2011 at 4:57 PM · Report this
Soupytwist 27
@25 -

"Dear Sexual Assault Victim,

Rather than confront or admit that our [insert type of institution here] fosters an environment that protects and encourages sexual predators, we instead require all victims of sexual assault to:

a) Pretend nothing has happened and treat the person who assaulted you as a peer worthy of respect, or

b) Stop participating in all activities at our [insert type of institution here].

Either way, we do require you to cease expressing yourself in all settings, unless prior approval has been granted or is explicitly sanctioned by us.

Sincerely,

The Assholes in Charge"
Posted by Soupytwist http://twitter.com/katherinesmith on May 11, 2011 at 5:28 PM · Report this
28
I think whether or not you would choose to be a cheerleader in this situation is pretty irrelevant. She shouldn't have to drop out of a school activity/sport because somebody else raped her. Whether or not you think she has a good reason to want to be on the squad, it's her choice and she should have the freedom to continue with it or drop at when she chooses.

Also I'm not sure you get to troll for comments, then request that people respond in a manner that you prefer. If people want to say you've blamed the victim, they kind of get to.
Posted by mitchmitchmitch on May 11, 2011 at 5:29 PM · Report this
schmacky 29
@28: Fair enough, I guess, though I object to the term "trolling"...I'm not being contrarian just to get a rise out of everybody; I actually believe what I wrote.
Posted by schmacky on May 11, 2011 at 7:36 PM · Report this
hannielynn1 30
WHY IS HER RAPIST STILL IN SCHOOL? He should be in jail experiencing the trauma he put her through, not being celebrated as a football star. AND! AND!! Why would his school want a rapist to represent them in their uniform?!?! What the F@&* is wrong with everyone except the victim in this whole situation?
Posted by hannielynn1 http://www.balagantheatre.org/ on May 11, 2011 at 9:02 PM · Report this
31
To me it's more of an outrage that the victim lives in the kind of fuckheaded world where so much status derives from cheerleading that she'd want to keep cheering for a team that would keep a known rapist. But given that she's living in that world of shit (as millions of girls are), yeah, it's not my business to question her. The courts just piled fuckery on top of fuckery with this case. .
Posted by Prettybetsy on May 12, 2011 at 2:49 AM · Report this
gttim 32
It is Texas. Is anybody really surprised? I mean it is completely unfair and fucked up, but it is Texas. Dude probably got high five's in the locker room.
Posted by gttim on May 12, 2011 at 5:57 AM · Report this
33
@23--you can split hairs by defining rape away as "sexual assault of a minor"--which this deviant was found guilty of-- but the rest of us aren't going along. You're revolting, you're exceptionally stupid, and you are on the side of evil.
Posted by Billy Chav on May 12, 2011 at 8:11 AM · Report this

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