Eastside High School student, 19, accused of raping 15-year-old girl in auditorium

One of our local high schools, Eastside High School, had a horrific incident happen last week. During school hours, a 15-year-old female student was lured into the auditorium by two male students, molested by one and raped by the second. You can read the story in its entirety here. One male student is facing sexual battery charges, while the other is facing lewd and lascivious molestation. While the article leaves the reader with a lot of unanswered questions (which is often the case with violent crimes and youth), the most puzzling aspect is that the incident took place during school hours. Why wasn’t the auditorium locked if it wasn’t in use? How was there an unsupervised opportunity for this to take place?

Regardless of why/how this was able to happen during school hours, it is a startling reminder that we have a ton of work left to do. What would be your first step? How could this negative and horrible experience be utilized for positive change?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chad
    May 11, 2011 @ 16:44:30

    When we look for positives in entrenched violence and destruction, we begin to see things as good and evil. Therefore, the evil doers are the ones to rally against, and we are the good-doers. On the contrary, let us create the evil doers as the society that allowed these young men to think this is a good idea. Use this as a stepping off point, to look at the scope of our community and culture that ok’d this in their mind. Finally, talk to the people that perpetrated. Remember, the idea of power and control as the root cause of IPV came from a convicted serial rapist. There’s more to learn in the mind of the perpetrator (for lack of a better word) than the victim.

    Reply

  2. violenceprevention
    May 11, 2011 @ 17:41:21

    Thank you so much for your thoughts and feedback, Chad! I couldn’t agree more!

    Our society has created this culture of violence which includes atrocities such as rape, IPV, racism, homophobia, ableism, adultism, etc. These various systems of oppression are maintained through subtle and often nuanced mechanisms. The mechanisms are most obvious (at least to me) via the mainstream media, which continually spews hate and division rather than promoting understanding and unity. The ‘evil doer’, so to speak, is the machine working to maintain the status quo and silencing any dissenters. It has educated our youth in the art of war, destruction and violence and informs that anything otherwise is weak, undesirable and a failure.

    You’re absolutely right, there is so much to be learned about how assault and violent types of behavior are excusable or ‘ok’ in an aggressor’s mind. As a community we can begin to address these root causes by identifying the unhealthy behaviors and offering healthy alternatives. Instead of saying “This is bad, don’t do it”, we need to say “this is unhealthy for everyone involved, here’s another option.” We can then provide our citizens, and most importantly our young people, with the skills to critically consume the messages being fed to them through the faceless and nameless machine.

    As I continue to digest this case and bit of information, I continue to find myself asking the same question: “what is the motivation?” What sparked the two young men to initiate such an act of hate? Where did they learn such behavior and how do we help them unlearn? How can we frame this teachable moment into a meaningful discussion with other youth?

    Always more questions than answers. Our quest continues. Thanks for keeping up the hope, Chad.

    Reply

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