Head straight to the end of this post is you just want contact information for the Board of Education. BoE meets this Monday at 7 in MHS library.
I am still overwhelmed by allegations in the suit brought against Macomb 185. I can’t imagine being a student at Macomb High right now–the same administrators charged with educating me are not willing to to protect my right to learn in a safe environment?
How can our daughters, sons, and gender-queer children attend school confidently and safely knowing that this administration allegedly did not protect victims against a sexual predator? And our students do KNOW this. They know it deeply–from their daily lived experiences. It’s going to take a long time for this town to make sense out of this sexist corruption, and an even longer time to recover.
Schools are required to uphold Title IX at all times. Title IX is the law, and it is wrong to ignore it.
Today is Laura’s (my sister-n-law’s) two-year death day anniversary, but I’m distracted by the allegations that the Macomb school district–teachers, administrators, the school board, protected the rights of a sexual predator and violated the rights of the victims, and that this went on from the time the alleged perpetrator was a freshman: 4 years. Laura went to Macomb High–she would be sick if she knew.
There are so many potential angles for this story: the culture of silence, the ignorance about Title IX, family ties, the large number of people who knew and were complicit, the rush to blame victims and call them greedy, sexism and elitism, patriarchy, the courage it takes for the victims to seek justice, and so many lives forever changed by something that could have been addressed correctly had the 185 leadership been competent and informed.
How does a student remain in a school with her predator for 4 years? She doesn’t. I know because in the wake of my sexual assault in the school hallway, I told my dad that the culture of my school was too aggressive and nasty and I wanted to move. As a preacher in the tradition of the Apostle Paul, who moved around, my father obliged. Likewise, in Jared DuBach’s meticulous reporting, we learn that the first victim left Macomb High. If she was like me, it would have been hard for her to concentrate in class, and her behavior may have changed. I stopped eating and got a D in math–that’s how my behavior changed. If my perpetrator had left school, I would have had an equal chance.
How has the hush-hush culture of Macomb worked out for us? Badly: we face a ten million dollar lawsuit that could have been avoided if we weren’t so intent on protecting the patriarchy, violating Title IX, and then covering it up while the perpetrator continued to prey on others. Worse, we take a deserved hit to our reputation.
I have followed several high-profile sexual assault cases in which the victim had to face her predators on campus. Stuebenville is one. The University of Missouri is another. Often, the town/university rallies around the perpetrator, especially if he is a football player. Already, on social media, I’ve seen folks come out to support the alleged perpetrator and the Macomb 185 teachers and administrators who protected him. In some cases, the victim-blaming and support for the perpetrator is so overwhelming that the victim commits suicide.
I have complained about Macomb 185 violating either Title IX or state laws many times over the last 5 years, so I can’t say I’m surprised about the current allegations. When I have contacted the 185 administration to complain about sex discrimination and Title IX violations, they have resisted and taken a stand for a discriminatory practice. They do eventually back off from the sex discrimination, but not before telling me some version of “Boys will be Boys” or other sexist myth.
I’ll be unraveling this for a long time.
Contact the members of the BoE. Let them know you believe the leadership has failed and that our teens don’t feel safe in school.
Call 185 and request to be put on the agenda to speak at Monday’s Board meeting (2/26): Ph: (309) 833-4164.
Tag social media with #Mac185.
Superintendent Mark Twomey: email@example.com
Matt Biermann: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ardell Thompson: email@example.com
Lara Adams: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Duncan: email@example.com
Jim LaPrad: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Torrance: email@example.com
Quick link to 185 Board of Ed contact and information page: http://www.macomb185.org/index.aspx?nid=73