Instead of protecting Jane from her abuser, and his friends who brutally bullied her both at school and on social media, the school presented Jane with a "safety plan" that restricted Jane's freedom to move within the school. Even after finding out that Jane's abuser was under criminal investigation by the DA's office for his crimes against Jane, and after being presented with numerous emails providing evidence of the severe bullying and intimidation Jane was experiencing from his friends, the principal of the high school testified in court on behalf of Jane's abuser stating that Jane had not been following the "safety plan." Jane was absolutely devastated by the lack of support and betrayal from her school administration, especially after they had promised us they would "stand with Jane."
A couple days later she found the strength and courage to send the principal this email, including the links at the bottom:
"I know I didn't follow your safety plan that limited where I sat in the auditorium, but I needed to sit with the few friends I still have that make me feel somewhat "safe."
Rosa Parks didn't sit where she was supposed to sit either... Knowing she would at least be arrested, but did so to speak up for the many silent discriminated people. Those who have paved the way for others’ rights have had to face severe consequences.
It's 2018, why should I have to give up my seat?
But more importantly, why should I be subjected to being "fired" from my school, receive threats and intimidation, and basically be left on house arrest because I'm too afraid to go back to a school that supports my abuser?
Rosa Parks was arrested, fired from her job, and received death threats for years. When will things change?
Thank goodness this time the victim of this deadly ostracization is someone strong. I know too many others who would not survive, and have not survived.
*She included these links at the end of her email in hopes of educating the school administration on just how dangerous and harmful their reaction to our numerous pleas for help was:
**One last note:
An old friend of Jane's pointed out that some may take this as though Jane is claiming her struggles match those of Rosa Parks, or of people of color in general. Jane in no way meant to imply that she knows this type discrimination first hand. She used this well known historical example of discrimination because it is specific to a woman choosing to stand up for her rights by not sitting where she was told.
Jane has been been severely discriminated against by the school district. They chose to protect an adult male athlete's rights, who they knew to be under criminal investigation for sexual assault, over the rights of the victim, a female student. Her point is that, although we have come a long way in many regards, discrimination of all types is alive and well, even in 2018, and it needs to be stopped. Why should a teen girl with no history of dishonesty or disciplinary action be mandated to change where she sits to accommodate the rights of her abuser and rapist? She bravely spoke up and asked for protection from her school, which they promised to provide her as they absolutely should, and instead of being protected she became the victim of severe bullying, intimidation, and retaliation, both from many of her fellow students and the administration itself. Many of her teachers, other school staff, and students have openly expressed deep concern for Jane and how this situation has been handled. However, many students who vocally support Jane have faced retaliation from her abuser's friends, and even physical violence in one case, as a result.
Although one of the ugliest and most problematic, racism is not the only harmful form of discrimination. Discrimination based on gender, religion, sexuality, age, socioeconomic status, appearance, or any other form
of discrimination is harmful and potentially deadly, especially to children and teens, as evidenced by yet another suicide at her school recently, and by the huge increase of child/teen suicides across the country in recent years.
Jane plans to study psychology, communications, and law at NYU and work as a human rights activist. The reason she chose NYU over all other colleges is specifically its diversity and incredible global network. Jane has a deep desire to understand and help people from all parts of the world and walks of life.