There is a story making the rounds on social media about a 7th-grade girl who is alleging she was harassed, assaulted and raped twice on school grounds, and then expelled when she reported the incidents. The story I’ve seen most often is from Alternet, and is written in their standard non-objective style. The newspaper that broke the story writes it in a more traditional journalistic tone, and it’s been covered by other sources as well. I’d encourage you to read at least one of them.
When stories of this nature come across the wires, I usually track down the actual court filings (which are often linked in the stories themselves) because I find that reading them gives me a better understanding of the story. So I read the original complaint and the school’s written response, in which it denies all allegations.
Responses in cases like this are typically pretty boring, as they tend to be just line-by-line denials of each claim in the complaint. This one is no different. But it ends with their affirmative defenses and I was particularly struck by the final three paragraphs, which I screen-capped and posted above. Paragraph 18, especially.
Keep in mind that “Plaintiff” refers to a preteen girl. A preteen girl who twice reported to her school that she had been raped on school grounds.
“Failed and neglected to use reasonable means to protect herself from loss.”
That’s the school’s response. To a preteen girl. Who told them she’d been raped. Twice. At school.
She failed and neglected to protect herself.