Girl Forced to Apologize to Boy Who Raped Her

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A special ed girl in a Missouri middle school reported that she was raped a couple of years ago. But school officials insisted that her story was made up and badgered her into recanting:

Following instructions from the school, the girl wrote an apology to the boy she accused of raping her and had to personally give it to him, according to the lawsuit. She was then expelled for the remainder of the 2008-09 school year….The girl returned to the middle school for the 2009-10 school year and tried to avoid the boy, according to the lawsuit. It didn’t work. She was sexually assaulted again [in the school library] but didn’t tell anyone because she was afraid of being expelled again.

….School officials were notified of the incident and allegedly doubted the girl’s claim, saying they’d “already been through this,” according to the lawsuit. The girl was also examined and found to have been sexually assaulted. However, she was suspended from school for “disrespectful conduct” and “public display of affection,” her lawyers wrote in the lawsuit.

I’ll grant that it’s impossible to know for sure what happened based on just one side of the story. Still, a forensic exam after the second rape showed that the girl had indeed been sexually assaulted, a DNA match was made to the boy she had accused of raping her, and the boy then pleaded guilty to charges in juvenile court. But the school district continues to say that it bears no responsibility for any of this. WTF?

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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