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RAPE CULTURE SYLLABUS
Oct 16th, 2016 by

October 14, 2016

I just start kissing them. Just kiss—I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Whatever you want. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.—Donald Trump

The video was released on Friday, October 7. At the presidential debate two days later, when CNN moderator Anderson Cooper asked the Republican nominee Donald Trump to explain his apparently predatory behavior to the nation, Trump dismissed his deep-seated serial misogyny and nonconsensual sexual advances as mere “locker room talk.” Repeatedly. Afterward, in the GOP spin room, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions staunchly defended his ally, insisting, contrary to the Department of Justice’s definition, that grabbing a woman’s genitals without her consent was not sexual assault. On Wednesday, in the New York Times, two women gave their own detailed accounts of having been sexually assaulted by Trump; another woman, a People magazine journalist, also came forward to share her story. On Thursday, delivering an impassioned speech in New Hampshire, Michelle Obama called out Trump as a sexual predator who routinely abuses his male privilege and power: “This wasn’t locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women … It reminds us of stories we heard from our mothers and grandmothers about how, back in their day, the boss could say and do whatever he pleased to the women in the office.”The furor went national after the release of the video, but the problems had started much earlier: when Trump’s lawyer claimed it was legal to rape your spouse; when Trump, in campaign speeches across the country, called Mexican immigrants rapists; when he continued to assert the guilt of the Central Park Five, who were wrongfully convicted of rape and finally exonerated by DNA evidence after serving years in prison.

The Trump video inspired the writer Kelly Oxford to invite women to tweet at her the stories of their first assaults; by Monday, she had received thousands of testimonies about flashings, gropings, and rapes; along the way, Oxford’s account was viewed some 30 million times. Building in intensity throughout the year—in the courts, on college campuses, throughout the blogosphere, and on Facebook pages, Snapchat stories, and Twitter feeds—suddenly it seemed the phrase “rape culture” dominated the national conversation. Rape culture refers to the trivializing of sexual violence and the tendency to blame victims while exonerating or excusing assailants. It also refers to the racial disparities in arrests and sentencing of accused rapists. We need look no further than the notorious case of Brock Turner, a Stanford student who was found guilty of three counts of felony sexual assault, and yet was handed an uncharacteristically lenient sentence by a questionable judge. Even more devastating in its reach, the Department of Justice recently concluded that the Baltimore City Police, among other crimes, “seriously and systematically under-investigates reports of sexual assault.”

Scholars and activists, poets and playwrights have been writing about rape for centuries. What would the conversation around sexual assault, police bias, and the legal system look like if investigators, police officers, and judges read deeply into the literature on sexuality, racial justice, violence, and power? It is in view of this question that the following syllabus is offered as a scholarly resource—and object of critical discussion and debate—on “rape culture” in the 21st century.

read more …………………..

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Considerations for School District Sexual Misconduct Policies
Sep 19th, 2016 by

Considerations for School District Sexual Misconduct Policies highlights issues for K-12 districts to consider when bringing together a multi-disciplinary team to develop sexual misconduct policies as part of their overall response to sexual misconduct. By using this document as a guide, it will enable K-12 teams to include all the essential components of a comprehensive sexual misconduct plan. The document covers reporting options, support services for victims, definitions, confidentiality, the grievance process, and other critical areas. It also provides links to Federal government resources for those wanting further detail on a particular topic.

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The Safe Place to Learn resource package
Sep 19th, 2016 by

The Safe Place to Learn resource package provides a range of materials that address peer-to-peer sexual harassment.  It is designed to help establish and maintain a safe, supportive learning environment and mitigate factors that interfere with learning. This resource package supports school district and school staff efforts to:

  • comply with Title IX sex discrimination prohibitions and
  • create a positive school climate.

Safe Place to Learn is one set of materials among a diverse collection of tools commissioned by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.

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Blue for Boys, White With Flowers for Girls: When Commencement Is an Exercise in Discrimination
May 9th, 2016 by

Libby Ryan and Jordan D’Addeo are unlikely rabble-rousers. Both are A students and highly involved in their school and community. Libby is a four-time All-State musician and principal oboist in Connecticut’s All-State Band, winner of the Daughters of the American Revolution Citizenship Award, Class of 2016 Treasurer, a member of the National Honor Society, and a member of the student council who has donated over 400 hours of community service with various organizations in the area. Jordan is the class salutatorian with near-perfect SAT scores, winner of the Rensselaer Medal, National Merit Finalist, AP Scholar with Honor, and captain of the high school Quiz Bowl and math teams. They both love their school, their teachers, their friends, and their school administrators. And they are weeks away from graduating from Nathan Hale-Ray High School in East Haddam, Connecticut.

But as they prepare to celebrate with their classmates, they find themselves up against a tradition that distracts from the achievements that graduation is meant to recognize. By tradition, boys wear blue gowns at graduation; girls wear white. Also by tradition, boys and girls will file into the ceremony venue in separate lines, girls carrying flowers purchased out of class dues. This policy discriminates not only against transgender students and students with nonconforming gender identities, forced to publicly choose a gender, but also against female students who are literally draped in a symbol of female purity laden with gender stereotypes.

Graduation Gowns, Gender, and Controversy

Since early March, some students at Nathan Hale-Ray High School have been asking that the gender distinction be dropped at graduation and that students all wear graduation robes of the same color. To date, school administrators have not agreed to the change, and time seems to be running out. Last Tuesday, students were told they could choose a different color than the one that corresponded to their biological sex as long as they had the permission of their parents. The parental-permission requirement was dropped the next day, but the gender-specific robe color was not.

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Forest Hills Schools settles sex assault suit for $600K
Jun 18th, 2015 by

According to ATIXA, the average Title IX lawsuit settlement is $200,000.

 

Source: http://woodtv.com/2015/06/17/forest-hills-schools-settles-sex-assault-lawsuit-for-600k/

 

Forest Hills Schools settles sex assault suit for $600K


Dani Carlson and 24 Hour News 8 web staff  
Published: June 17, 2015, 10:17 am  Updated: June 17, 2015, 7:26 pm
ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A student who sued Forest Hills Public Schools after claiming she was sexually assaulted by a classmate will be paid a $600,000 settlement.

The student claimed that the school district did not protect her from harassment after she filed a complaint, and instead protected the suspect, who was an athlete. She was 15 at the time of the incident in 2010.

Settlement agreements obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show the school district’s insurance carrier agreed to pay the victim $600,000 to settle the lawsuit. The plaintiff will have to pay her attorney costs and taxes from that sum.

A federal judge had previously ruled that the school district failed to train its staff in how to properly handle Title IX allegations. Under the settlement agreement, Forest Hills Public Schools “will sponsor Title IX training as part of its existing Global Learning Initiative program.”

Part of Title IX requires that school districts “take prompt and effective corrective action,” which includes conducting a separate investigation that may not wait until after a criminal investigation is complete.

“The school cannot just throw up their hands and say, ‘Hey, criminal act, we’re out of it. Call the cops. Our job is done.’ That’s just not the law,” said attorney Genie Eardley.

Eardley is suing Grand Rapids Public Schools on a different alleged Title IX violation.

But Charyn Hayn, an attorney with Varnum LLP, a law firm that represents other school districts, said that school investigations don’t have the same power as criminal ones.

“The district should, at the same time the criminal investigation is ongoing, continue their own investigation. I think the disconnect — if you can call it that — comes just the fact that the internal investigation done by these schools Title IX coordinator is limited,” Hayn said.

She said the districts don’t have subpoena power and the administrators, and teachers investigating may have training but not day-to-day experience.

“The process they have to follow, they don’t have to do it very often, thank goodness. I mean, this is not a daily experience for any district,” Hayn said.

The student, identified as Jane Doe in legal documents, claims she was sexually assaulted by classmate and star basketball player Marques Mondy in a band practice room in 2010.

Prosecutors originally chose not to pursue the case, but later filed charges against Mondy after another student came forward with allegations that he inappropriately touched her, as well.

Mondy was charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, but pleaded to a juvenile charge of assault and battery and was sentenced to probation.

 

 

 

 

 

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