Singing Loudly: Unbelievable, truly...

Singing Loudly

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Unbelievable, truly...

I know that this happened a little while ago, but I can't recall reading much about it. Either way, it's very upsetting to me. This story about a 16 year old who was forced to perform oral sex on at least two guys in a school auditorium while dozen watched is appalling. Assuming that all of it is true, it's time these high school rapists learn that there is no way they can get away with shit like this. What is almost upsetting is the way the administrators handled this entire thing.

This school is certainly not a model of a good environment:
Assistant Principals Richard Watson and Vincent Clarno had been ducking in and out of the noon meeting to grapple with problems at the 800-student school on the Northeast Side.

Already that day, school administrators had investigated a report of a concealed weapon and an assault on a Somali student.

Students assaulting other students (possibly for racial/ethnic reason) and bringing weapons into school.

Then it gets worse...
two members of the Downtown brass were visiting for a meeting with the principal, two assistant principals and about five teachers.

Ok, so they have a little meeting going on.
At about 1:45 p.m., the meeting was disturbed by a call for help over the administrators? walkie-talkies.

All hell had broken loose in the auditorium, and a 16-year old, developmentally disabled girl was at the center of it. Watson and Clarno excused themselves from the meeting and joined teachers scrambling to figure out what had happened.

Ok, good, they are going to do whatever is necessary to end this shit.

Where is the Principal, by the way?
First-year Principal Regina Crenshaw decided to continue with the meeting, about bell schedules and curriculum.

Holy shit! You can't leave a meeting about bell schedules. I mean, what if kids don't get to their classes in the proper amount of time?

To her credit, maybe the initial reports were not all that detailed with how bad this situation was.

The initial reports about what had happened in the auditorium were ugly. A group of girls had come screaming to the door of special-education teacher Lisa Upshaw-Haider.

They "told me that I needed to go to the auditorium to help the girl because boys were (having sex with) her, and there was a line of boys" waiting to get oral sex, Upshaw-Haider said.

Ok, maybe I was wrong. Maybe this Principal really is nothing but a piece of bureaucratic shit.

Ok, so they find the girl after they break up a fight that happened with the boys involved because of a "snitch." Then they eventually get out of the girl that some boys led her behind a curtain and then hit her in the head to force her to her knees. There might have been a video camera that then recorded two boys forcing her to perform oral sex.
The girl, who has a severe speech impediment, was dazed, confused and crying, Upshaw-Haider said.

There are laws (at least in Ohio where this occurred) that require the administrators to call authorities after something like this happens...nobody did. The district officials also tried to keep this concealed.

You would think that around this point the Principal would get involved, no...

Upshaw-Haider knew the girl?s father and took it upon herself to phone him on her cell phone. Clarno saw him in the building about 2:10.

Clarno, at 29 the youngest member of the school administration, decided it was time to involve the principal.

He interrupted Crenshaw?s meeting, asked her to come to the door, and quietly informed her of the dramatic episode that had unfolded in the center of her school.

He told her "to come with me, because we have a crisis going on," Clarno wrote.

But Crenshaw returned to the meeting ? which might have continued another half-hour, said district executive Jaqueline Ralls, who was there.

She what? Returned to a meeting about the school bells?

Finally, the school attempted to convince the father not to report this to authorities because it would cause bad press to his daughter as the video didn't look like she was being forced to engage in oral sex. That's what the school told a father of a mentally disabled girl who was raped.

There are so many people involved in this story who need to be fired and/or go to jail, starting with the rapists and working your way up to the principal who thought holding a meeting about school bells was more important than responding to the fact that one of her students had just been raped by other students.


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