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  1. TopTop #1
    zeninfinity
     

    Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    At the beginning of the school year, a girl got groped by a boy at Brook Haven School. He got a 3 day detention. The school district has confirmed this.

    My daughter got groped at Brook Haven School recently. It was a different boy. But he is best friends with the boy who groped the girl at the beginning of the year and is part of a gang of 4 boys groping the girls of Brook Haven. My daughter has a friend that has been groped too. Since the school district did basically nothing (in the eyes of these young women) she has been silent, she is scared to speak up, because she feels the school will do nothing. She was groped by yet another boy, but who is part of this gang of 3-4 boys. I'm sorry to say it doesn't end there. The girl who got groped earlier in the year, got groped again by a different boy in the gang. And then there is another girl who got groped by one of the boys in this gang; But I cannot absolutely confirm.

    Statistically speaking there are probably many more students at Brook Haven that have been sexually assaulted by this gang of boys. More than likely they have been intimidated by the "gang". Saw that the school did basically nothing about the incident at the beginning of the year. So this triggers a feeling of fear and hopelessness among the young women at Brook Haven. Are these the values we want to be taught to our daughters?

    I would like to start a dialog about this and how the school can do an effective job of protecting our kids. Moreover, we probably have MANY other victims at Brook Haven that are afraid to speak out. How do we get them to come forward and start a healing process?

    In short, there is a sexual abuse epidemic at Brook Haven School. DON'T BE FOOLED, OUR KIDS ARE NOT SAFE!!! The inept, outdated, school system procedures has failed our kids miserably. We need to band to together and swiftly solve this problem. Will you join me in empowering these young women and giving them the voice they deserve?
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  3. TopTop #2
    rossmen
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Truly disturbing! Reads like you have communicated with staff about this behavior? Do you know what you want from the school, actions that adults would lead which would change the culture?

    I haven't had daughters at Brookhaven for over ten years, it was pretty old school then and l did pull one child out because the staff culture created problems for him. I currently have a 7th grade daughter at Sebastopol independent which does sponsor girl self defense classes (which were mostly about the behaviors you are encountering), as well as curriculum on sexuality and consistent teaching of respect and communication.

    If your daughter doesn't feel safe at Brookhaven you might need to pull her out. Fortunately, there are a lot of good public schools around Sebastopol.


    Quote zeninfinity wrote: View Post
    At the beginning of the school year, a girl got groped by a boy at Brook Haven School. He got a 3 day detention. The school district has confirmed this.

    My daughter got groped at Brook Haven School recently. ...
    Last edited by Barry; 12-22-2017 at 11:04 AM.
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  5. TopTop #3
    zeninfinity
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Quote rossmen wrote: View Post
    If your daughter doesn't feel safe at Brookhaven you might need to pull her out. Fortunately, there are a lot of good public schools around Sebastopol.
    Thank you for your kind reply. Indeed truly disturbing, on so many levels.

    Unfortunately, my daughter does not feel safe at Brook Haven. Only when she is with her friends. If she is alone, she does not feel safe. However, she has the RIGHT TO FEEL SAFE. It is the school's duty, by law, to provide a safe environment for students to learn in. Furthermore, she has made many close friends, for the first time in her young life. The young men that sexually assaulted her and her friends, need to go, not her or her friends.

    Brook Haven School needs to step up, take responsibility and protect our children:

    1. Expel and relocate the perpetrators and provide counseling/education for them.
    2. Notify all the families of Brook Haven School that there has been a groping epidemic.
    3. Provide further, in-depth counseling and education for students and teachers.
    4. Put rules, regulations, and procedures in place so matters like this have a clear path for swift resolution.

    This all came about because Brook Haven offered a Socratic Seminar regarding sexual assault. This is what triggered all of this, 3 girls came out, one being my daughter. I applaud Brook Haven School for offering this seminar to my daughter. If they didn't she probably never would have mentioned it to me. So I am very grateful to and have appreciation for Brook Haven School for educating her about this topic. Simply put, I just want them to step up and do the right thing and provide support for everyone involved. So far, this has not happened.

    I'm not playing the blame game. I just want solutions.
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  7. TopTop #4
    lgr
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Disturbing indeed! Epidemic? May have missed some posts in this thread.Yes, please provide more details or links to other information.
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  8. TopTop #5
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Seems like these boys may be taking clues from our President.
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  10. TopTop #6
    zeninfinity
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Quote lgr wrote: View Post
    Disturbing indeed! Epidemic? May have missed some posts in this thread.Yes, please provide more details or links to other information.
    Perhaps I am being an alarmist? In the past 5 months there have been 3 different boys who have groped 4 different girls, one girl got groped by 2 different boys. Making a total of 5 groping incidents THAT GOT REPORTED. There are no statistics I could find about middle schoolers. The closest is this: More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault.1

    So 3 boys, 5 REPORTED sexual assaults over 5 months. As for my daughter. The boy touched her breasts, her vagina and her buttocks. She was in complete shock and froze. This was all done IN A CLASSROOM.

    It's the brazen way in which these boys behave that worries me most. I was told by the school that the boy who attacked my daughter was not remorseful, had no empathy and had to be explained what he did was wrong. Another boy in the gang tried to intimidate me. As if to say, "I don't care what happens. I am in control." It's all very surreal.

    This gang of boys is free to roam the streets of Sebastopol and walk to and from school every day. If your child walks to school alone. I would be concerned. The school won't reveal this to you transparently. Please call the school and simply ask. Are there boys who have admitted to groping other students walking to and from school every day?

    It's obvious these boys need serious counseling. They are still young and quite possibly will respond to rehabilitation. Same goes for all survivors/thrivers AND for those still afraid to say anything. The school needs to bring in PROFESSIONALS that knows how to deal with this type of situation.

    To me, this is a major problem. Perhaps I am over reacting?


    1- Fisher, B., Cullen, F., & Turner, M. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women (NCJ 182369). Retrieved from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/182369.pdf
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  11. TopTop #7
    jesswolfe's Avatar
    jesswolfe
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    As we are seeing with #MeToo, you are not overreacting. This kind of behavior persists because the perpetrators get away with it. They either don’t see that it’s sexual abuse or they don’t care. This needs to be addressed NOW. If this has been reported and nothing has been done to remedy the situation, that’s not acceptable. It allows these boys to think that there will be no consequences for their behavior. My worry is that if they are this brazen, have they already taken it further and we don’t know yet?

    Jessica
    www.daughterofthediviners.com

    Quote zeninfinity wrote: View Post
    Perhaps I am being an alarmist? In the past 5 months there have been 3 different boys who have groped 4 different girls, one girl got groped by 2 different boys. Making a total of 5 groping incidents THAT GOT REPORTED. ...
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  13. TopTop #8
    lovejoy's Avatar
    lovejoy
     

    time to organize...

    This calls for a call to the President of the School Board... if the school's administration isn't taking action, then take your concern to the next level. If you don't receive some kind of appropriate response from the school board, then let us (the community) stand with you... this is our community and there are lots of us who want to stand and protect our children and each other.
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  15. TopTop #9
    HostlerCreek
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Zeeinfinity, unfortunately you are not being alarmist at all. This kind of behavior, by bully children, as well the inadequate response on the part of the school, is not new in Sonoma County, or most places I have heard about in this state and country. You have a right to demand it stop, against both your daughter and the rest of the school population. Under Title IX of the federal Civil Rights code, children have a right to an educational environment free from sexual harassment. And under that same code, it is not only the duty of the school staff and administration to take effective action against such behavior by students or faculty, it is also the school’s duty to inform parents of these rights under Title IX. The official term for your daughter’s educational setting is “hostile environment”.

    Besides demanding compliance with Title IX, you can ask for an investigation of the school (and/or district) by the federal Office of Civil Rights. You can also sue on behalf of your children for the damages suffered.

    In my experience, it is more effective to approach school officials strong -- as a group -- to ask for an effective response. This will perhaps minimize the common response by officials that “no one else seems to be bothered”. Beware, however, if the school initiates an investigation and dispatches a private investigator to question you or your children. Remember that the investigator works for the school, not you, and your answers may be used against you should you choose to sue. I would recommend, at this point, you contact an experienced attorney before allowing any interviews by school employees. It is in the interest of protecting the school from liability (as opposed to protecting your children) that attempts are made to make you feel isolated. You have a right to have anyone present you wish, and choose which questions to answer or not, as well as to ask your own questions.

    Hopefully, the number of past legal actions against public schools in Sonoma County resulting from sexual harassment will prompt a quick, effective response in your case. But the patterns I’ve seen are not encouraging.

    Your daughter, and all the children at Brookhaven or any other school in its district, has a right to feel safe going to school. It is difficult to learn anything in state of fear. In the eyes of victims, the difference between an isolated incident -- met by a quick, effective response -- and a continuing pattern of harassment, is the difference between safety and fear.
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  17. TopTop #10
    zeninfinity
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Quote jesswolfe wrote: View Post
    As we are seeing with #MeToo, you are not overreacting. ...
    Thank you so much for the validation. The way these boys have behaved after all this has transpired has been the most surprising thing to me. The overall lack of remorse and continued cavalier attitude is what shocks me most. But then again, I am not a professional when it comes to social and psychological matters. There needs to be an objective 3rd party brought in to assess the situation. At this point, only the school district's attorney has held interviews with the boys and then with their parents. To me, this is a major conflict of interest.

    These are the penalties the boys have faced, as far as I know.

    1) They cannot look or talk to my daughter

    2) If they are in the same class as my daughter. They are to sit in the front of the class

    3) No recess

    4) They have to leave campus immediately after school. Originally I was told by the school district's attorney that the boys were instructed to "go directly home immediately after school." THE FIRST DAY this was supposed to happen my daughter and I ran into them at Pacific Market, 8 mins after school got out! The boys saw me and giggled and laughed in a mocking manner. I was shocked on many levels. I call the attorney the next day and tell him about the incident, figuring he would have my back. His reply, "I can't control what those boys do once they are off campus."
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  19. TopTop #11
    zeninfinity
     

    Re: time to organize...

    Quote lovejoy wrote: View Post
    This calls for a call to the President of the School Board...
    This is already at the school district level. The superintendent and the school district's attorney are running the show. I believe the next level is the state. I'm not going to hold my breath. I feel we can organize ourselves to find a better path. And to make sure when situations like this occur in the future that they can be handled swiftly. There needs to be a clear and concise path written out and made as policy.
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  21. TopTop #12
    Magick's Avatar
    Magick
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    YOU are not being alarmist we all need to call the school and let them know this will not be tolerated.

    Quote jesswolfe wrote: View Post
    As we are seeing with #MeToo, you are not overreacting....
    Last edited by Barry; 12-29-2017 at 11:48 AM.
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  23. TopTop #13
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    What about "Restraining Orders" ? Seems like a fundamental start on their future records, and something they'll most likely violate, with further more serious consequences. Maybe kids can't be subject to RO?

    It seems unbelievable that there's no "written" policy for this. Someone dropped the ball big time. Also, the "school's district attorney" may be biased.

    What about TV exposure like "5 or 7 on Your Side". I don't know the correct channel since I don't watch TV.
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  25. TopTop #14
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Thank you for sharing some very important legal support information!

    I don't live in Sebastopol or have kids in school, but I view this as disturbing, and also that it seems to be a kind of pattern in some Sebastopol schools. I guess I have some unrealistic expectations of a conscious community?

    Quote HostlerCreek wrote: View Post
    ... Under Title IX of the federal Civil Rights code, children have a right to an educational environment free from sexual harassment.....
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  27. TopTop #15
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    I'd opt for "written" complaints because that creates a paper trail that can't be denied, with copies going to supervisory authorities. Maybe an email number for the school could be posted, with principal's and attorney's name and email.

    Quote Magick wrote: View Post
    YOU are not being alarmist we all need to call the school and let them know this will not be tolerated.
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  29. TopTop #16
    Stargazer's Avatar
    Stargazer
    Supporting member

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Did anyone ever hear of self defense? Slap these creeps in the face or squirt them in the face with mace. What kind of nonsense is this?
    These boys needs to be suspended and reported to the police for criminal prosecution. This will only get worse if this is allowed to be continued. Who really knows what these creeps do outside of the school?
    I cannot believe that anyone would tolerate or allow this kind of behavior to continue. Get these boys out of this school right away. They belong in a cage. Act like a wild animal, be treated like one until trained and tamed.
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  30. TopTop #17
    zeninfinity
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Quote Shandi wrote: View Post
    What about "Restraining Orders" ? Seems like a fundamental start on their future records, and something they'll most likely violate, with further more serious consequences. Maybe kids can't be subject to RO?
    Yes, that is an option. Don't want to go there yet. But I will if the neglect on the school's part continues. I feel I will have no choice. I'm not sure why the district feels it's students are safe with these boys loose on the town? They have brazenly attacked females ON SCHOOL CAMPUS, IN CLASSROOMS! Anyone with a little common sense could put 2 and 2 together and realize that these boys being around ANY children, especially walking alone to and from school. Is simply a very bad idea! Add on top of that the school's attorney's attitude of "hey, I can't control what they do once they leave school." Is a clear sign the school district feels they have no responsibility once your child leaves school. Again, am I being unreasonable here? Am I missing something? This is just common sense, right?
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  32. TopTop #18
    zeninfinity
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Quote Shandi wrote: View Post
    ...I guess I have some unrealistic expectations of a conscious community?
    I believe we live in a very conscious region. I feel Sonoma County is a very progressive place. Furthermore, West County and largely Sebastopol takes the lead. I feel we have uncovered some ugly truths.

    So let us be the progressive community we are and simply solve this!!! How do we band together and speak with one voice?
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  34. TopTop #19
    zeninfinity
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Quote Shandi wrote: View Post
    I'd opt for "written" complaints because that creates a paper trail that can't be denied, with copies going to supervisory authorities. Maybe an email number for the school could be posted, with principal's and attorney's name and email.
    Excellent point! And if you do make sure to keep a copy and confirm they have received your letter. I need to take it under advisement if I can post their names and numbers.

    It is actually the Superintendent of the Sebastopol Union School District and an attorney that is handling this.
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  36. TopTop #20
    zeninfinity
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Quote Stargazer wrote: View Post
    Did anyone ever hear of self defense? Slap these creeps in the face or squirt them in the face with mace. What kind of nonsense is this?...
    Stargazer, I feel your pain. In the beginning, this situation caused great anger in me too! Then I realized I was simply mirroring back all the anger and frustration of the boys I was upset with. I had to ask myself. Does this feel right? Do I want to fight, fire with fire? I will if I have to. But I would like to try to get to a peaceful resolution before things get out of hand.

    I totally appreciate your energy! Please don't let your anger eat you up inside. Cool heads will prevail. Please help me/us/our community make positive change. And let's make it swift.

    Again, thank you for your BIG energy!
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  38. TopTop #21
    viajera
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    I would also submit the story to our local newspapers..Press Democrat, Sonoma West, etc. You can start by writing a letter to the editor, also request an interview with their reporters. Quite recently there was a racial discrimination case at Analy High that finally got the attention it deserved when reporter Paul Payne of the PressDemocrat ran a couple stories in Feb, 2017..."Former Analy Student Sues over Racist Taunts"
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  40. TopTop #22
    wisewomn's Avatar
    wisewomn
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    I was also reminded of that incident, Viajera. I got the impression from that entire imbroglio that the school admin and the school board were suffering from a sort of "anything goes because we're so cool and enlightened" attitude while the real world went by unnoticed or ignored. I encountered something similar in Berkeley years ago, where I raised my son. It's going to take another big noise to get their attention now (and new members on the Board and in the admin) and make changes. They're pulling down big salaries and need to start earning them.

    As for the boys, if their parents won't get involved, then it's going to take an outside authority (police? therapist?) to get their attention. It needs to be done SOON because these boys are already locked into behavior that is culturally condoned and will only get worse as they become adults.

    Quote viajera wrote: View Post
    I would also submit the story to our local newspapers.....
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  42. TopTop #23
    zeninfinity
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Quote HostlerCreek wrote: View Post
    Zeeinfinity, unfortunately you are not being alarmist at all. This kind of behavior, by bully children, as well the inadequate response on the part of the school, is not new in Sonoma County, or most places I have heard about in this state and country. You have a right to demand it stop, against both your daughter and the rest of the school population. Under Title IX of the federal Civil Rights code, children have a right to an educational environment free from sexual harassment. And under that same code, it is not only the duty of the school staff and administration to take effective action against such behavior by students or faculty, it is also the school’s duty to inform parents of these rights under Title IX. The official term for your daughter’s educational setting is “hostile environment”....
    Thank you so much for this! I do have some awareness of Title IX and am studying it now. It's very obvious, The Sebastopol Union School District is not even close to being compliant with Title IX.

    Just for starters try to find the school districts Title IV policy. Try to find it on the Brook Haven School site. You can't easily find it. I had to call the school districts office to get it.

    Here it is. It's vague, incomplete as says absolutely nothing about penalties if the rules are breached. Which puts the school district in non-compliance.

    Sebastopol Union School District Policy on Sexual Harassment

    The "Title IX Coordinator" is also the Superintendent of the school district. This is a MAJOR CONFLICT OF INTEREST!

    Case and point. I contacted the school district's Title IX Coordinator to complain about the school district's attorney. What did I get? A lot of back peddling and lame excuses from the attorney. In short, my complaint email to the Title IX Coordinator wasn't answered by the Title IX Coordinator/Superintendent, it was answered by the school district's attorney!

    In short, it's a mess.

    Let me be crystal clear. My daughter LOVES Brook Haven School. But she does not feel safe! This is all I want to remedy. The school is by law to provide a safe environment. This whole mess is a major distraction. And bottom line, she is uncomfortable in school. Having the gang of boys anywhere in the school makes her nervous and she feels unsafe. Again, please give me a reality check. If someone sexually assaulted you and others bullied you, would you feel "safe" seeing them every day?

    Please understand that I am not "out to get" anyone, not the school, not the boys.. I just want results and I want them quickly. And moreover, I want the school to take a lead in healing. Again, statistically speaking there are probably more victims/survivors suffering in silence. We need to address this too! No one left behind! The school's attorney calls what I ask for as "demands." I call it common sense. It's very simple. The district needs simply step up and do the right thing.

    I will leave you with this. Here is the Socratic Seminar that sparks this whole thing. Again, Sebastopol Union School District, thank you so much for providing this information to your students. Seriously, from the bottom of my heart, I am truly grateful. You've taught my daughter this with words. Now it is time to keep your promise and show action. Talk is cheap, action speaks louder than words.

    Go right to the bottom of the page to see what I mean.


    Please Read. Highlight. Answer the questions. Come prepared to discuss 12/8/17.

    1. Define sexual harassment in your own words:
    2. What do you see at school that you would consider sexual harassment?
    3. What does the planner say about sexual harassment?
    4. Do you think there are types of harassment, bullying, and student behaviors that are not sexual but are just as damaging or hurtful to be around?
    5. What does federal law say are the punishments for sexual harassment?
    6. Explain California’s laws regarding sexual harassment:
    7. What are the steps the article recommends to do if you become a victim of harassment?
    8. Why do you think some people participate in sexual harassment, while others do not?
    9. What can we do about sexual harassment or harassment at BHS to make our school a better place?

    Sexual Harassment At School
    © 2015 Equal Rights Advocates.

    What is Sexual Harassment?

    Sexual harassment is a serious problem for students at all educational levels. Students in elementary and secondary schools, as well as vocational schools, apprenticeship programs, colleges and universities can be victims of sexual harassment. This problem is more common than you might think because many students are scared or too embarrassed to report sexual harassment. It is different from flirting, playing around, or other types of behavior that you enjoy or welcome. Sexual harassment can be requests for sexual favors or unwelcome sexual behavior that is bad enough or happens often enough to make you feel uncomfortable, scared or confused and that interferes with your schoolwork or your ability to participate in extracurricular activities or attend classes.

    Sexual harassment can be verbal (comments about your body, spreading sexual rumors, sexual remarks or accusations, dirty jokes or stories), physical(grabbing, rubbing, flashing or mooning, touching, pinching in a sexual way, sexual assault) or visual (display of naked pictures or sex-related objects, obscene gestures). Sexual harassment can happen to girls and boys. Sexual harassers can be fellow students, teachers, principals, janitors, coaches, and other school officials.
    Here are some examples of different kinds of sexual harassment that students might face:
    {snip}

    Federal Law

    {snip}

    California State Law
    {Snip}

    What can I do if I am being sexually harassed?

    Sexual harassment is a serious issue. Many students who have been sexually harassed report a drop in their grades, and some students have had to transfer to a different school, drop classes, or leave school altogether. If you think you are being sexually harassed, it is important to tell someone who can help you stop it. Here are some things you and/or your parents can do:

    · Don’t blame yourself. The person who is harassing you is the one doing something wrong and you haven’t done anything to cause the harassment, even if you flirted with this person or liked him/her.

    · Say “No” Clearly. Tell the person who is harassing you that his/her behavior offends you. They may not realize how hurtful their behavior is and may need a clear message from you to stop. If the harassment does not end, promptly write a letter asking the harasser to stop. Keep a copy of the letter.

    · Write down what happened. When someone harasses you or makes you feel uncomfortable, write it down in a notebook that is just for this purpose. Write down what happened, the date it happened, where it happened, and who else may have seen or heard the harassment. Also write down what you did in response, and how the harassment made you feel. Do not write other information in this notebook, such as appointments or homework assignments. Save any notes, e-mails, text messages, or pictures the harasser sent or posted about you. It is a good idea to keep these records somewhere besides school, such as in your home or another safe place. If the harassment takes place online, such as on Facebook or other website, take steps to save and store the harassing content in case it gets removed or deleted later.

    · Report the Harassment. It is very important that you tell your parents or another adult, like a teacher or guidance counselor, about the harassment. If you want the school to do something about the harassment, you MUST tell a school official, such as the principal, that you are being sexually harassed. If you do not feel comfortable telling the school official yourself, get the help of your parents, a teacher, guidance counselor or another adult to go with you. If you and/or your parents tell a school official verbally, also do it in writing and keep a copy for yourself. If the first school official (like the principal) doesn’t respond, go to the school board or Superintendent to complain. The law says the school has to stop sexual harassment of a student whether the harasser is a teacher or another student(s), but the school is only required to stop the harassment if someone in authority at the school knows what is happening to you. So it is VERY IMPORTANT to report the harassment to a school official.

    · Consult the school grievance policies and Title IX officer. Your school is supposed to have a policy against sexual harassment. Get a copy of the policy and read it. The Title IX grievance policy may also give you a list of the types of behavior that the school considers to be sexual harassment. Find out from your school who the Title IX officer or coordinator is for your school or district. You should be able to ask him or her questions about how to complain, and what to expect during the complaint and investigation process.

    · File a Complaint With a Government Agency. If nothing happens after complaining to school officials, you and/or your parents can file a complaint against the school with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Generally, you must file a complaint with the OCR within 180 days of an act of discrimination or harassment. You can call them, and they will explain how to file a complaint. (See the contact information in Resources, below.)
    · File a Lawsuit. You can also file a lawsuit against the school. If you want to do this, you should look into it quickly, because there are time limits for filing a lawsuit. In California, you must file a lawsuit within 2 years of an act of discrimination. Other states’ time limits vary from 1 to 6 years.

    In addition to the deadlines for filing a lawsuit, you may be required to give the school or the school district notice of your claims within a specified time period in order to pursue legal action. Many states have laws called “tort claims” laws that require an individual who wants to sue a public school (or other public entity) for money damages to notify the school of his or her claims within a specified time period before filing the lawsuit. You should consult an attorney to determine whether your state has a tort claims law and what deadlines may apply to your claims. In California, under the state Government Tort Claims Act, an individual who wishes to file a lawsuit against a public school may be required to give notice to the school within 6 months of the act giving rise to the lawsuit.

    If you have any questions about your legal rights, or need help finding a lawyer, you can contact ERA’s Advice and Counseling center or call Equal Rights Advocates free Advice & Counseling Line toll-free at (800) 839-4372. (See ERA’s full contact information below.)

    It is important to remember that retaliation for taking action under Title IX is illegal. If you feel that someone is mistreating you or treating you unfairly because you have complained about discrimination, you should contact the Office of Civil Rights.


    See complete version here



    What does the BHS Student Handbook say?

    BE SAFE ~ BE RESPECTFUL ~ BE RESPONSIBLE
    A safe school environment is the right of each and every student and staff member at Brook Haven. School safety issues range from basic emergency drills to student conduct and discipline policies. Our goal is to create a school climate in which all members of the school community feel safe.

    Student Behavior
    All staff members assist in the enforcement of the school discipline policy. To ensure school safety, students are expected to respect and follow the directions of school personnel without argument.

    School rules extend to all school events, and are in effect before, during and after school. When circumstances dictate, school personnel have the authority to request students to leave campus during non-school hours (afternoons, evenings, weekends, holidays and vacation periods).

    The maintenance of effective school discipline is a significant part of the educational process and is important in providing meaningful learning experiences. Discipline should not simply be punishment for misbehavior, but should also include active, positive efforts to change behavior. Students are expected to:

    · Show respect for each other and for all staff members, as well as for school property
    · Be on time and prepared for class
    · Cooperate and follow directions given by all adults on campus
    · Follow each teacher’s classroom rules and procedures
    · Comply with the law, school rules, and expectations as outlined in this handbook

    Physical Contact
    Students are to refrain from physical contact at all times, including public displays of affection.

    Sexual Harassment
    State and federal laws and regulations prohibit sexual harassment, therefore any allegation is treated very seriously and will be dealt with immediately. Our district has a specific policy and procedures which students and staff must follow. To begin the complaint procedure, sexual harassment should be reported immediately to either the principal or counselor. All matters involving sexual harassment will remain confidential. If allegations are confirmed, detention, suspension and/or expulsion may be imposed.

    Bullying Behavior
    Behavior which includes persistent and repeated name-calling, intimidation, embarrassment, ridiculing, inappropriate cyber-communication, and/or physical contact is not tolerated at Brook Haven. Students are expected to immediately inform school staff when they believe they are being bullied or are witness to such acts. Students who are victimizing others through this type of behavior will be subject to disciplinary action.
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  43. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  44. TopTop #24
    Stargazer's Avatar
    Stargazer
    Supporting member

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Quote zeninfinity wrote: View Post
    Stargazer, I feel your pain. In the beginning, this situation caused great anger in me too! ... Please don't let your anger eat you up inside. ...
    Thank you but my anger is not eating me up. Please. Do not try to analyze me. I am not mirroring back anything. I am not a violent person just proactive. Maybe some people may think molesting girls is okay but I do not. When someone attacks you, do you defend yourself or do you just stand there as a victim peacefully and take it?? This is not a peaceful misunderstanding. It is violent act that needs to be treated as such.

    Just surprised that something like this is tolerated in a school setting without repercussions and hopefully it will not be any longer. I am making a strong statement that I hope will maybe raise a few eyebrows and make "some positive changes and impacts." This type of behavior is totally unacceptable and needs to be dealt with swiftly and properly. I do hope that these boys are reprimanded appropriately or they will continue their behavior and it will get worse!! I believe prevention and being proactive is imperative before someone gets raped, hurt or who knows what if it has not already happened to some poor innocent girl. I would hope that the powers in charge will act on this now that this has gotten wide spread attention. I do not agree with soft peddling or sugar coating this kind of "negative violent behavior." Too much happens to too many innocent people. It is time that we as a community and a society deal with violence for what it is and stop tolerating inappropriate violence that damages others. If it was your child how would you feel?
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  45. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  46. TopTop #25
    zeninfinity
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Quote Stargazer wrote: View Post
    Thank you but my anger is not eating me up. Please. Do not try to analyze me...
    It is my child. We both want the same thing, CHANGE. I prefer to do it non-violently.

    But yes, if I keep getting pushed back by the school a much more aggressive approach may be necessary. I am prepared for a long, hard slog if that is what it takes.I prefer not to fight. I simply want results, quickly.

    I appreciate your passion.
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  47. TopTop #26
    Stargazer's Avatar
    Stargazer
    Supporting member

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Quote zeninfinity wrote: View Post
    It is my child. We both want the same thing, CHANGE. I prefer to do it non-violently....
    I am so sorry that this is happening to your child. I want the same as you. Quick results and for this kind of harassment to stop now. I just wonder why these perpetrators are not being suspended for a start? That is usually the first step. I have to wonder what these school officials are thinking or are just not?? I wish you and your daughter much peace with a happy healthy new year with a fresh start for a better positive school experience.
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  48. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  49. TopTop #27
    jesswolfe's Avatar
    jesswolfe
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    It’s very easy to say “why doesn’t she just fight back.” Well because many times victims freeze. Especially children. They are being violated. They don’t know how to respond. And hitting back can mean a ramped up violent response. Plus it’s blaming the victim for being abused. The right answer is DONT ABUSE. We are talking about a child. What child in Sebastopol feels they have to carry mace to school? And if they do, we have a serious problem.

    And clearly it is being tolerated by the school officials. That’s the problem. They are all about protecting the school, not the child. It’s seriously messed up and needs to be challenged. But let’s not blame the girls who are being abused. They are probably already feeling enough shame. Shame that’s not theirs to hold.

    Jessica

    Quote Stargazer wrote: View Post
    Did anyone ever hear of self defense? ....
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  50. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  51. TopTop #28
    zeninfinity
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Quote Stargazer wrote: View Post
    I am so sorry that this is happening to your child. I want the same as you. Quick results and for this kind of harassment to stop now. I just wonder why these perpetrators are not being suspended for a start? That is usually the first step. I have to wonder what these school officials are thinking or are just not?? I wish you and your daughter much peace with a happy healthy new year with a fresh start for a better positive school experience.
    It's very surreal. If it was little Johnny down the street and he pinched my daughter's butt as a joke and now shows remorse and is truly sorry. Although it is still wrong. I would be able to see it in a forgivable way, if I felt the kid just slipped up this one time.

    But this is not the case. We are not talking about the neighborhood kid, who is otherwise well behaved. But, that is how the school is acting. The school's response is not even remotely appropriate.

    We are talking about kids who are well known in the community as troublemakers. A 9th grader at Analy told my daughter about "the thugs" in 7th grade at Brook Haven this summer (I thought the girl was being dramatic. I was wrong). So when these boys were in 6th grade at Brook Haven, they already had a reputation, with the 8th grade girls. Think about that. Keep in mind 6th graders are in a totally different part of the school.

    Most of these boys have already been in trouble on many levels. I'm not out to get them. They really need help and some serious counseling. What has the school provided for them? An attorney? Really? What does that say about the school?

    Let's not forget about the girls. What have they gotten? Apparently, the other girls have gotten NOTHING. It seems as though no other parents have been involved. I'm not sure. I'm wondering if the school is following the mandated reporting laws for sexual harassment or sexual assault? So I'm not even sure if the parents of the 3 other girls who got groped, know this has happened?

    The truth will come out.
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  52. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  53. TopTop #29
    Stargazer's Avatar
    Stargazer
    Supporting member

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    I am not blaming or shaming the victim. That is only your perception which is incorrect. Actually I am getting quite annoyed with dumb unproductive comments like that. Yes it needs to be dealt with by the school officials. I will put it this way so perhaps my perspective can be understood more clearly. I will take the time to demonstrate what I mean and why.

    When I was growing up as a very young person I was attacked in the street. I tripped the guy so he fell to the floor so I was able to run. It saved me from being dragged off into an alley. The reality of the situation is not right. Like it or not, we all must be protected that is why we have police to step in and for school age children the first step are the school officials to do this for them.

    In this case, yes the school officials do need to pay attention and deal with the problem. I totally agree. Nobody needs to be subjected to being disrespected, attacked and violated, male or female. If the school officials are not responsive, then I suggest going to the police. This is no joke. It must be stopped immediately. Nobody needs to be afraid to go to school or be subjected to being attacked. The offenders need to be made accountable and removed from the school. The boys that are doing these violent acts are not fit to be around others if they attack others. I am sorry if that offends anyone. That is a simple and effective quick solution for a start.

    One time I was in a car with someone as a teenager. Fortunately, I did have a can of mace with me. When this person tried to jump over the seat to attack me, I sprayed them which gave me time to get out and run. I know this is not a school situation, but bullies are bullies. I am sure that if one looks at how many females are abused in a violent way it is shocking and very disheartening. Let's deal with reality. Was I wrong for protecting myself? Yes I was not in a school situation, but I can tell you that growing up in a populated area, these problems are rampant now and always have been.

    Self defense is empowering and builds confidence. There are many classes that teach this and many young people do attend them. If anything, it will just build one's endurance and make them stronger people. We do have a "serious problem!" That is the reality of this situation.Yes do not abuse. I elect anyone who thinks that will solve the problem to go tell these violent young men "do not abuse." If the solution was that easy, we would have a perfect world, peace everywhere, no more wars and peace within us all. It is important to strive for this of course. The first part of this problem are the boys that are doing this. The problem is more deep seated than I care to go into. Think globally. Act locally and productively. Yes victims can freeze. They can also run. They tell their parents. It is not their fault. It is not easy to deal with such a heated topic in a public forum although I do believe that this is a great start to the solution so the problem will now be addressed at this point I would hope.

    Quote jesswolfe wrote: View Post
    It’s very easy to say “why doesn’t she just fight back.” Well because many times victims freeze. ... But let’s not blame the girls who are being abused. They are probably already feeling enough shame. Shame that’s not theirs to hold
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  54. Gratitude expressed by:

  55. TopTop #30
    jesswolfe's Avatar
    jesswolfe
     

    Re: Sexual Abuse Epidemic at Brook Haven School (Open Discussion)

    Im glad you were able to protect yourself in some dicey situations. Not everyone is you. Not everyone reacts to trauma the way you do.

    Jessica
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