Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Taking a Stand for Safe Schools

The way that HCPSS handles bullying and sexual assault is abysmal. Just ask Christine McComas. Victims are often ignored or scapegoated. Since 2012 it appears that the preferred method in Howard County is deeming accusations to be false.
I've been doing a lot of listening to parents of students who have been victimized twice, first by perpetrators, then by the school system. The pattern in these cases is horrifyingly consistent: for the bullies/assailants, we make excuses. For the victims, we make trouble. As we already know from the case of Glenelg High School student Grace McComas, suppression of the truth and a lack of support for victims is a matter of life and death.

The fact the Grace's mother still hasn't been able to get complete school records despite multiple requests in writing, through a lawyer, and in public forums, suggests that the school system doesn't want the record of how school personnel handled her case to be more widely known.

But this is not just a story about Grace.

Bullying, sexual harassment, and sexual assault continue in our schools.The response from the school system to inquiries from concerned parents is: no response. We can't wait any longer to step up and be a voice for victims and take action for their safety. I invite you to participate in this forum (brought about by grassroots activism) and RSVP to the email address given above.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the number of causes that parents and community members are fielding that pertain to our schools is staggering. It's difficult to comprehend how much needs to be done. It's overwhelming. It would be easier to look away.

This one is life or death.



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