Think of this as the anti-Friday Night Lights.
A young woman in Silsbee, Texas, reported that she had been gang-raped when she was 16; one of her attackers was school athletic star Rakheem Bolton.
Bolton was able to escape prison, ultimately pleading guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge. He received two years probation and a fine.
His victim, however, continues to suffer from the vile act, but this time it is the school board of Silsbee who have gone out of their way to make themselves into her persecutors.
This young woman, a member of the school’s cheerleading squad, made a decision which should have been publicly commended, but instead has brought only wrath upon her.
Though she continued to cheer for the team ( a team which kept Rakheem Bolton on as a player) she refused to take part in a cheer which included the name of her rapist whenever he happened to be the one at the free throw line.
Good for you, young woman.
At this point someone in authority at the school - you know, an adult - should have praised this young woman.
Publicly and loudly.
But you know, it was only rape. I mean, what the hell was the girl making all this fuss for? Somebody has to step in here!
And so it was decided that if this rape victim, this young woman who publicly took a stand not to joyfully scream out her attacker’s name in public, well, she would be ejected from the squad.
Her attacker - who did plead guilty to assault - played basketball for the fine city of Silsbee.
Representatives of the Silsbee School Board, perhaps concerned for her emotional well-being - boy, it’s hard to write all of that with a straight face - suggested that the young woman avoid such hotbeds of radicalism as the school cafeteria and that perhaps she shouldn’t take part in any Homecoming activities.
Her family stood by her and sued the school district (oh, the unfairness of it all!) but lost the case.
Now the stalwarts at Silsbee High School can force her parents to pay their legal fees, which come to more than $35,000.
Oh, Silsbee School Board, you are so beneath contempt.
I just hope that there was somebody - anybody - in your group who realized the monstrousness of what you were doing, and spoke out against it.
The folks on this school board have mothers, wives, sisters and daughters. The message they have sent to the young women in their community, in their schools and in their own homes is that athletics trumps the brutality of sexual assault, hands down.
The folks at www.Change.org are hoping to join with others to force the Silsbee School Board dragging and kicking into the 21st Century, to issue a public apology as well as instate rape prevention programs.
And then, of course, there are the folks living in Silsbee itself
There is a site which rates Silsbee High School, and some revealing comments have been left by those who haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid. Along with the comments praising the school, I was able to locate these three fascinating posts.
SISD has been a big disappointment since my children have been attending high school. SISD advertises that the children are first, this is not what I have been seeing. Once the children pass through the doors at SHS they are no longer allowed to have an opinion, and if there is an issue with your child and a teacher you need to know that the teacher is always right - no matter what. Some of the teachers are good and many are not. Many of the teachers are not willing to assist students when they are having problems in a class. There is a LOT of yelling - students being talked down to - discrimination - and special treatment of certain students. The principal, and assistant, need to have control of the school, not the deputy on duty. SHS and the school board need a complete overhaul.
Silsbee school district has declined in the past few years due to increasingly incompetent leadership, and inability to cope with students. The Silsbee school board meetings, where rules and decisions are made, are completed with unanimous content. This is not because the ideas cannot be bettered or challenged, it is because the only people that show up are faculty, the school board itself, and students that are not allowed to have any say whatsoever. This makes the environment hostile to teenagers, which in turn cause rebellion. Rebellion leading to students spending more time in SACK and detention and other wise being out of class. Teachers and administrative staff hide behind the strict verbatum guidelines rather than coach students. Sending students home for 'flip flops' and ear piercing rather than revamping dress code like so many other successful schools have. Sending students home is not an efficient way to address problems.
This school is a joke. Academically, students are not challenged. Most teachers seem to fear giving a student a failing grade. Others are apathetic and just putting in time until retirement. If you are not an athlete, there are no opportunities. Parental involvement anywhere in this district is not welcomed or appreciated.
Go, Silsbee Tigers!
Quote of the Day
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then give up. There’s no sense being a damn fool about it. - W.C. Fields