School Board President's Comments on Alleged Garfield Rape Case "Appall" and "Dishearten"

Comments

1
To me, it's a big issue that Seattle Schools did not have a Title IX officer at the time of the rape/sexual assault, and is only getting one September 1, 2014. It's true the district has responsibilities under Title IX to adequately investigate allegations of assault and harassment, it failed to do so. Why didn't the district have a Title IX officer?

I don't trust the district to adequately handle student complaints about sexual assault, procure and maintain a sensible content management system, or follow through on IEP goals so a student demonstrates improvement and success. I don't trust Garfield High School staff and volunteers to adequately chaperone overnight trips.
2

Emily initially claimed a stranger entered her cabin and raped her in the night.

In fact, she had sneaked out of her cabin after lights out...

3
Jeebus effin christo…if she said "no" and he continued, it was R-A-P-E. End of story. That is what we've all been taught since every After School Special on the subject. Any other information is irrelevant.
4
From Al Jazeera, "He acknowledged to law enforcement that she told him to stop several times but said he persuaded her to “roll with it.”"

I'm deeply confused about why this wasn't prosecuted.
5
@2: I don't usually police comments, but I'd like to remind you that you're talking about a 15-year-old girl, you disgusting bag of shit. Get out of here.

@4: I think lawyers who prosecute domestic violence and sexual assault will say there are probably some cases where our adversarial justice system seriously fails. But we also don't have all the info.
6
So Feds and state officials refused to prosecute so you all want the SPS to try the student? How many kangaroos will be needed?
8
Bailo, eat shit and die! How did you get that big dent in your head?
9

Today, every Male is a Scottsboro Boy

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ft…
10
It is beyond imaginable that even when presented with the fact that the victim said 'no' (@4), there are people defending the accused rapist as just being a "sweet talker" or implying that the female victim somehow deserved it. Evil shit.
11
@9 You need a tattoo on your forehead as a warning to every woman who comes into contact with you.
12
@11, I'm sure talking with him for more than half a minute is warning enough for anyone.
13
@5: I think he's trying to finally get banned. Thank you for reporting this story, hard as it is to read about.
15
"Disgusting bag of shit" is official now.
18
The district is in a predicament of its own making and won't take responsibility for it. That's the bottom line.
19
One of the saddest and most complete failures by Seattle Public Schools it has ever been my sorry duty to report.
20

#19

Yes, it's time we got rid of SPS entirely and ended the indoctrination.

Charter and private schools for all.

21
#10

I'm plowing through the supposed source articles.

Holden's post is useless, because he just makes up statements based on other summaries.

I'd much rather see the court documents online.

The Al Jazeera article acts as if its factual, but in these cases again primary source material is key.

The few things I gleaned from the Al Jazeera is that the accuser changed her story several times, and it looked like statements conflicted with what was written in a journal.

Just my impression, but the parents bothered me. Again, just like you, I have no data to back up my impression so I will nto attempt to persuade you on this point.

Overall I'm sorry, but it's not that I'm siding against her, but I simply do not have the evidence to parade around and make a judgement against the accused.

22
This is the second time School Board member Peaslee has made a "There are facts in this case that are "unknown to almost everyone," " statement I'm aware of. She said almost the same words to me when I complained about the School District's removal of Jon Greenberg's from Center School. ("If you knew what I know, but it's a personnel matter so I can't tell you")

That stupid decision was reversed by mediator a week ago. http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitic…

Peaslee's statements are disappointing.
23
Peaslee's statements are not disappointing, they are blatantly stupid, and they're demonstrative of a certain type of stupidity that seems to be endemic in the SPS system. You'd have to have hope for anything better for her statements to be merely disappointing.
24
JBIADBOS
25
@21, You're not getting it. This is not about holding the boy accountable. No one really cares about that and it is just odd that this is your focus.

The bigger problem, the one that everyone else is focused on, the one that the story and the protest, and all of the work is about, is holding the District accountable for their utter and complete failure to fulfill their duties, both before and after the incident.

Can you see that?

And, yes, by diverting the attention away from the District's responsibility, you are siding against the victim because that's her effort.
26
#25

From Al Jazeera:

Emails show that the district attorney concluded that a sexual assault may have taken place, but it wasn’t a case that could be successfully prosecuted.


So it was not just the school district ignoring it, but legal counsel in the general judiciary who advised them.

27
@26, You are resolutely determined not to understand, aren't you?

The federal prosecutor didn't ignore the case. The federal prosecutor exercised his or her discretion about whether or not to prosecute. That's not neglect. What the school district did, however, was neglect. They had a duty and they refused to fulfill it. Moreover, they lied about it.

Also, the school district wasn't getting legal counsel from any outside source. How odd that you should think this is either true or relevant.

How about you set your off-topic interests aside for a moment and focus on the primary issue here: the school district failed/refused to fulfill their duties before and after the incident. Can you take a moment and look at that? Whether there ever was an actual sexual assault, there definitely was a report of one. The district has a legal duty to take specific actions in response to such a report and they failed to take those actions. Get it now?
28
@26,

You appear to be concerned with whether or not laws were broken. Per Charlie Mas' comments, let's look at the district then and see if they followed the law. Here is a link that will explain Title IX requirements to you: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oc…

As you investigate this issue more, read the documents and think about the actions the district did and did not take in this case. They clearly did not comply with Title IX (federal law). They also appear to have violated FERPA.

Their duties in this case were clear, whether or not you, me, or anyone else believes an assault actually occurred. They were negligent in those duties.
29
Hopefully this link to the Title IX document will work.

http://tinyurl.com/llx5dnf
30
@27,28,29

Well at the risk of digging myself into a deeper hole with a larger shovel, I will continue. And here I wish merely to discuss the legal bases on which these proceeding occur.

First of all Title IX was a 1972 anti discrimination statute. It has subsequently and is now being used to combat "sexual violence" (the term the document in your link uses).

What is sexual violence? According to Wikipedia, there is no standard definition but,

Such broader definitions of sexual violence indicating that sexual violence is not limited to rape are also found within international law. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has established in article 7(1)(g) that "rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity."[14] constitutes a crime against humanity. Sexual violence is further explained in the ICC's Elements of Crimes, which the Court uses in its interpretation and application of article 7.

The Elements of Crime establishes that sexual violence is:

"an act of sexual nature against one or more persons or caused such person or persons to engage in an act of sexual nature by force, or by threat of force or coercion, such as that caused by fear of violence, duress, detention, psychological oppression or abuse of power, against such person or persons or another person, or by taking advantage of a coercive environment or such person’s or persons’ incapacity to give genuine consent."[2]


Was this the case here?

I also would continue, that in general (and I am not speaking necessarily about this case) the laws governing the definitions of consent and behavior in general and specifically for those inside institutions are by no means clearly defined. The use of a 1972 workplace discrimination law for example severely overextends its intent -- and this harms both the victims and the accused!

All I'm saying is that I see a legal definition being stretched to the breaking point. If you want these protections, then you're going to have to overhaul the whole system -- with clear definitions and more well formed laws.

And also education. For example, in Sexual Health classes is the definition of Consent taught to girls and boys? Are laws such as what constitutes rape discussed? And the statutes for their state?

Basically people are being sent into the world told that it's a free for all demolition derby and post-facto you then set upon them attempting to litigate with the most ill defined laws as it were a grand prix tournament from the get go. That is an egregious imposition of state power on the individual and it benefits nearly no one.

31
Not to defend Peaslee's tone-deafness at all, but why isn't any of this outrage being directed at the Prosecutor who, if Al Jazeera's report is to believed, declined to prosecute despite admissions by the assailant that she said "stop" but that he told her to "roll with it." Obviously these cases are messy but that seems like a smoking gun to me.
32
@31, from my reading on other sources (and a huge shout-out to the best source of information about SPS) the prosecutor was concerned that one or more members of the jury might have doubts about consent. It only takes one hold-out to hang a jury. Prosecutor could well have been wrong about that, but it doesn't seem to me to be any kind of malfeasance on his part.

As for Peaslee's comments, I am quite disappointed in her. I campaigned hard for her, and she's excellent on a lot of issues, but she owes an apology, a BIG one, after this.
33
There are two different issues here.

1) was a crime committed? Peaslee seems to be operating on "everyone is innocent until proven guilty" but that is for a criminal action. You can ALSO say "just because no one was charged, does NOT mean there wasn't a crime. Even the Parks Service report says that.

Neither the public nor the district can have a criminal trial. (That does NOT leave out the issue that the family could go after the boy and his family in a civil suit. That is a far lower bar and one I believe they could win. If there's one thing we learned from the Simpson case, if you can't get justice via criminal courts,you can in civil court.)

2) what is really the issue at hand about the district is two-fold. Did they follow their own policies and procedures BEFORE the trip and DURING the trip? The evidence says no. Then, did they follow policies and procedures (including around Title IX) AFTER the field trip. Again, it seems not.

That would point to the district having a lot of work to do.

I have a Legal Log that the lead legal counsel of the district handed out at a recent Board committee meeting. It was a log of Title IX issues work to be done. One item said that at the recent Summer Leadership Institute (a one-day work group for principals), 15 minutes were to be allotted for bringing principals up-to-date on procedures. Under "status," it read "Done?"

No, they have a lot of work to do and digging themselves a deeper hole should not be one of them.
34
The school district leadership and Garfield High's leadership has lost all credibility. There's a petition calling for Ted Howard's removal started by a 3rd-generation GHS alum (https://www.change.org/p/seattle-public-…).

Peaslee claimed in a letter to parents a month ago that the district followed all procedure. The victim's parents have clearly amassed evidence that procedure was ignored left and right before and after the assault took place (see https://www.facebook.com/stopsexassaulti… or contact the victim's parents at stopsexassaultinhighschool@comcast.net).

The district has repeatedly improperly redacted documents about the rape and made these available to the public, in violation of FERPA. As a result, the district gave the public information that could identify the victim. Do they have any idea how terrifying, how dangerous this is for sexual assault victims who report their assaults? If the victim's family hadn't left the state, they would have angry friends of the rapist banging on the door. A lot of people think that the district did this deliberately, that they're trying to intimidate the family into silence.

Parents, students, community members cannot be satisfied to hear the district say "we're fixing the problem" when they won't even admit that there is a problem. The community needs to demand to know exactly what will be done, verify that it's been done, and hold the district leadership accountable.
35
I think the internet troll known as Supreme Ruler of the Universe should become the interim principal of Garfield while they investigate Teflon Teddy as he has a history of being crappy at his job so that fat ass douche seems perfect.

I love fat angry white men who have the time to troll the internet with their vile hate. Clearly they are not getting laid and have said to the bitch on more than one occasion "roll with it."