Last fall a 14-year-old girl was at Eastern High School in Lansing, Michigan when she was taken into the stairwell by another student a sexually assaulted. When security footage of the events were later reviewed by the school, both students were suspended for “lewd and lascivious behavior.” Now, what’s wrong with that picture? Well, just about everything, if you ask us.
Vice spoke with the girl’s attorney Karen Truszkowski, who recounted the victim’s story. The girl will be referred to as Jane Doe, and her attacker, John Roe.
“John Roe had taken her into the stairwell, took his penis out of his pants, masturbated himself, forced her to rub his penis, and attempted to force his penis into her mouth. She said that she did not consent, but [the school officials] said that it did not appear that way to them” upon reviewing the security footage.
Because it’s up to them to determine if the acts were consensual or not, right? That’s their job as educators?
After Jane Doe’s mother found out about the serious of events, she knew it was time to take action. In addition to reporting the assault to the police, she went straight to the school to protest her daughter’s suspension. And that’s when the school board got involved.
The brought in “student services specialist” Sharon McWilliams to review the security video footage. Although Sharon found that Jane Doe had clearly not consented to the sexual acts (which should have ended things right there), she said that Jane Doe did not have a “strong enough no,” did not “try to get away,” and “did not fight back.”
SERIOUSLY?! Whatever happened to “yes means yes”? Whatever happened to you cannot have sex with someone without giving explicit consent?
We have to be blunt here: Sharon McWilliams should be ashamed of herself.
Jane Doe and her family are now bringing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Lansing School District. The suit is directly aimed at Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul, Eastern Principal Donna Pohl, Assistant Principal Glenn Stevens, Sharon McWilliams, and district public safety officer Willie Rodgers.
YAS! Take them down!
Her attacker John Roe has already been taken to justice and is currently under probation, paying restitution for the victim’s therapy, and attending a sexual assault education program, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Jane Doe’s lawsuit becomes the fourth open suit against the school district.