Analysis shows thousands of sexual assaults by K-12 students

BRUNSWICK, Maine — Chaz Wing was 12 when they cornered him in the school bathroom. The students who tormented him were children, too, entering the age of pimples and cracking voices.

Eventually, he swore under oath, the boys raped him and left him bleeding, the culmination of a year of harassment. Though Chaz repeatedly told teachers and administrators about the insults and physical attacks, he didn’t report being sexually assaulted until a year later, launching a long legal fight over whether his school had done enough to protect him.

Chaz’s saga is more than a tale of escalating bullying. Across the U.S., thousands of students have been sexually assaulted, by other students, in high schools, junior highs and even elementary schools — a hidden horror educators have long been warned not to ignore.

Relying on state education records, supplemented by federal crime data, a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press uncovered roughly 17,000 official reports of sex assaults by students over a four-year period, from fall 2011 to spring 2015.

 

“No principal wants their school to be the rape school,” said Dr. Bill Howe, a former teacher who spent 17 years overseeing Connecticut’s compliance with a federal law that helps protect student victims of at-school sexual assault. “It’s the courageous principal that does the right thing.”

 

Read the entire article at http://www.bendbulletin.com/nation/5271393-151/analysis-shows-thousands-of-sexual-assaults-by-k-12

 

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School District Pays Transgender Student $800000 After Banning Him From The Boys Bathroom

Source: http://www.newsweek.com/transgender-student-won-800000-his-school-banning-him-boys-bathroom-777443

A Wisconsin school district is paying a transgender student $800,000 as a settlement for a discrimination lawsuit he filed.

Ash Whitaker graduated from Tremper High School in June 2017, but he sued the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) in July 2016 for banning him from the boys’ bathroom with a threat of disciplinary action and subjecting him to daily surveillance.

The lawsuit ended in the settlement when the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that KUSD illegally singled Whitaker out for discrimination because he is transgender. KUSD appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court but agreed to withdraw its appeal as a condition of the $800,000 settlement on Monday. The settlement still remains subject to court approval, according to the Transgender Law Center, and will be finalized this week.

“I am deeply relieved that this long, traumatic part of my life is finally over and I can focus on my future and simply being a college student,” Whitaker said in a press statement released by the Transgender Law Center, who represented him in the case.

In the case, Whitaker said that KUSD proposed that all transgender students wear bright green labels to monitor their restroom use, refused to use his chosen name and isolated him from his peers on overnight school trips. Whitaker, who was in the top 5 percent of his class, worried that the distraction of the discrimination could hurt his chances of attending college.

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See what color graduation gowns Mira Costa students chose to signify gender equality

Source: http://tbrnews.com/news/manhattan_beach/see-what-color-graduation-gowns-mira-costa-students-chose-to/article_27710258-dc74-11e7-819b-2fcb1be77a19.html

It might not be the biggest issue on campus, but Mira Costa Principal Ben Dale wanted to send a strong message this year about gender equality and gender identity.

So, instead of ordering green graduation gowns for the boys and gold gowns for the girls as Mira Costa High School has done since as far back as anyone can remember, 2018 graduates will all be wearing white gowns.

And, rather than sit apart, the boys and girls will be seated together during the ceremony.

Dale said he suggested the change to the Associated Student Body, which unanimously supported him. The senior class then voted on what color they wanted the gowns, choosing from green, gold or white. White won out with roughly 170 votes out of about 350 students.

“The color of a gown doesn’t rise to the level of access to learning and athletics and activities,” Dale said. “It’s certainly not on the scale of Title IX, but from a gender equity standpoint, there is an argument made there that you don’t want to distinguish boys and girls in that way.”

He said the point was to catch “unintended biases where they exist.”

While the decision was not driven by any complaint or lawsuit, the case at many schools across the country making similar choices, Dale said it fell in line with other recent actions administrators have taken.

Two years ago the school opened two single stall gender neutral bathrooms and this year provided two more.

“Our role as an inclusive school is to try and remove those unintended biases that cause unnecessary stress,” Dale said. “I understand tradition and all that, but at the same time, if we don’t need it and it’s not making us better, then we should change it or do away with it.”

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Fifty Shades of Gay

iO Tillett Wright has photographed 2,000 people who consider themselves somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum — and asked many of them: Can you assign a percentage to how gay or straight you are? Most people, it turns out, consider themselves to exist in the gray areas of sexuality, not 100% gay or straight. Which presents a real problem when it comes to discrimination: Where do you draw the line?

This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxWomen 2012, an independent event. TED editors featured it among our selections on the home page.

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7 Ways Title IX Protects College Students

SOURCE: http://www.care2.com/causes/7-ways-title-ix-protects-college-students.html

For 45 years, Title IX has helped protect students from gender discrimination but recently the Trump Administration has been tweaking guidelines for the influential civil rights law.

First, Betsy DeVos’ Education Department withdrew protections for transgender students. Now, sexual assault survivors have to work harder to prove their assault happened.

Despite these changes, Title IX still benefits students. Here are a few groups the legislation helps.

1. Sexual assault survivors

The new Trump-era guidelines give colleges more power over sexual assault cases. This may not be the best idea, as universities across the country may under-report or even cover up sexual violence on campus.

Title IX has been used to protect survivors. Though its standards are weakening, the legislation is still there.

2. Transgender people

Former President Barack Obama used Title IX to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that matched their gender identities.

The Departments of Education and Justice withdrew this guidance earlier this year. Yet, as the National Center for Transgender Equality clarifies, “The guidance itself didn’t change the law or create protections for transgender students that weren’t there before. It just clarified how the Department of Education would be enforcing existing laws.”

Essentially, trans students are still protected. After all, sex discrimination is sex discrimination.

3. Pregnant students

Whether they’re newly pregnant, getting an abortion or giving birth, pregnant students have legal protections.

Under Title IX, students facing pregnancy-related issues should be given the accommodations that students with temporary disabilities would get. For example, professors need to excuse pregnancy-related absences otherwise, they’re in violation of Title IX.

4. Student athletes

We often talk about Title IX in the context of school sports. Indeed, the law does protect student athletes of all genders.

Women’s sports need to get the same funding and resources as men’s sports, according to the law. However, a Vice investigation found many big-name colleges disproportionately favor their men’s programs anyway.

5. Bullying and harassment targets

If bullies target someone for their gender, Title IX has their back. As the National Women’s Law Center notes, this protects women targeted by sexually explicit gossip, and also protects men from getting harassed with sexist and homophobic names like “fairy.”

Schools need to take action on bullying and harassment incidents or they will fall foul of the law.

6. Math and science scholars

Before Title IX, colleges steered women away from majors in math and science.

Although the gender gap in STEM persists today, the law ensures someone can’t be pushed out of their chosen study because of their gender.

7. Those Who File Complaints

Legally, colleges aren’t allowed to retaliate against those who file Title IX complaints.

If you experience or witness sex discrimination in higher education, the Women’s Law Center has some good tips to help you.

The Human Rights Campaign is also supporting a Care2 petition to urge the Trump Administration and Betsy DeVos to protect LGBT students through Title IX.

And if you want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling, you too can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You’ll find Care2’s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.

 

 

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