Apparently Reporting Immediately Doesn't Work, Either
September 25, 2018 2:30 PM   Subscribe

Her teacher sexually assaulted her. The administrators made her apologize and hug him. The Cherry Creek School District will pay $11.5 million to five teenage girls who were sexually assaulted by Brian Vasquez, a middle school teacher.
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet (31 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Okay, it looks like there is in fact some sorta scummy advertblarg stuff going on with this link unfortunately. -- cortex



 
Potential malware/malvertising on linked site (denverpost.com).
posted by sudogeek at 2:33 PM on September 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


I tried... but I have no words. I don't know what to say about this that hasn't been said.
posted by hydra77 at 2:37 PM on September 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


Good lord. What are all these people thinking?
...a Denver Post investigation found that school districts across the state are paying millions to settle lawsuits because administrators and teachers are failing to follow the state’s mandatory reporting laws.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:41 PM on September 25, 2018 [7 favorites]


I think the common thread between this and the Catholic Church and college sports and all the other places we've seen people in positions of authority willingly look the other way when sexual abuse was happining is the idea that "what we're doing is too important."

I'll accept every single bishop, administrator, and coach thought that the allegations against their demonstrably predatory subordinates were horrific deep in their heart of hearts. But the only way I can extend that benefit of the doubt is to figure that they decided that the works their programs did was, on balance, worth a "few" assaulted children. The belief that what they were doing by directing their programs that some collateral damage (in the form of assaulted kids) was worth it.

Whether it be saving kids eternal souls, getting them pro sports contracts, or ensuring their students get into the best colleges nothing could risk that goal. And so the victims who would undermine the t goal were dealt with as the obstacles they were perceived to be to make sure that goal could be achieved.
posted by East14thTaco at 2:45 PM on September 25, 2018 [9 favorites]


Thorzdad: Good lord. What are all these people thinking?
After the Vasquez case became public, it was discovered that a second Cherry Creek School District employee had been charged in a child sex assault case in May, but the district had never informed parents of the situation.

Broderick Lundie, a security guard at Grandview High School and the son of Overland High School principal Leon Lundie, had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.
[emphasis mine]

I'm pretty sure they're thinking some form of "if I let his kid get away with it, then they won't shitcan ME when I get caught".
posted by hanov3r at 2:51 PM on September 25, 2018 [11 favorites]


The Next Step for #MeToo Is Into the Gray Areas (recent Jezebel article reframing content)
As #MeToo founder Tarana Burke told Yes! Magazine’s Zenobia Jeffries in January:
The gray area is really important to talk about because so many of us live in the gray area. People talk a lot about how men are confused about consent and they don’t know if they should touch this or touch that, or ask.

But I also think there are issues around consent for women as well because we’ve been socialized to believe that we have to give in to the whims of men. That you have to well, OK, he asked three times, he asked four times, I gave in on the fifth time. And I’m not saying that giving in is automatically sexual assault, but it definitely is a gray area.
How do we talk about behavior that is harmful and inequitable but isn’t illegal? How do we talk about the women affected by it? And what happens when accusations of such behavior are made against someone who is supposed to be an ally? These “gray areas” are embodied in a story Jezebel has been reporting since June, an example of the ways in which the messy contours of alleged coercion and manipulation are far more nuanced and more difficult to trace than behaviors that violate the law.
While that's an interesting article, the OP, and other notable news topics, remind me loud and clear that we are a very long way from addressing all the clearly illegal sexual assault and harassment, not that I somehow thought we were "done" with the "obvious" issues.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:54 PM on September 25, 2018 [26 favorites]


Prairie Middle School principal David Gonzales and assistant principal Adrienne “A.J.” McIntosh are accused of pressuring a teen victim in 2013 to recant her claim of sexual abuse. During meetings with the student and her parents, the administrators warned the girl that Vasquez’s career and family would be ruined by the allegations, according to the grand jury indictment.
One thing I will never understand is why administrators stick their necks out for pieces of shit like these.

This is why we absolutely need mandatory reporting laws. Once you stick your neck out you're criminally culpable so you better be damn sure. Confiscate the pensions of the administrative staff who sit on the information and use it to pay the settlements.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 3:03 PM on September 25, 2018 [18 favorites]


I've said it before, I'll say it again - the knee jerk instinct to protect the organization (and let's face - also your own neck) is one of the biggest things holding humanity back.
posted by drewbage1847 at 3:06 PM on September 25, 2018 [12 favorites]


A fifty dollar fine for not reporting sexual assault and you can keep your job with children. Sure. That makes sense. Proves it is taken really seriously.
posted by jeather at 3:19 PM on September 25, 2018 [8 favorites]


"This is why we absolutely need mandatory reporting laws."

From the article: The administrators did not report the allegations to police or the Colorado
Department of Human Services, which is required by state law.

Oh, the law was there. It is unclear if there were any repercussions for breaking the law.
posted by el io at 3:27 PM on September 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


" the administrators warned the girl that Vasquez’s career and family would be ruined by the allegations, according to the grand jury indictment."

Yes, people who do this do not deserve careers and families.
posted by GoblinHoney at 3:33 PM on September 25, 2018 [10 favorites]


the student said she “was made to apologize to Vasquez and hug him at the end of the meeting,”

Personally, I think forcing a minor to embrace a the man who molested her is also physical abuse. The whole damn lot of them should have had their day in court as well as being put on the sexual offenders list.

God, I am so sick (literally) of hearing about crimes against women and children. So. Much. Pain. My biggest fear is that it isn't going to change, and that the misogynistic bastards in charge will think it's a reason to develop an American purdah and punish those women who resist.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:54 PM on September 25, 2018 [19 favorites]


Hierarchies exist for the benefit of those at the top of the hierarchy. They'll often reach down and help or protect those just below them, but the point is, they are not in place to protect or help those at the bottom. They'll only do so if forced, and even then with great reluctance. And, sadly enough, 'victim' is always at the bottom of the hierarchy, 'cuz remember - the hierarchy exists to permit the top dogs to take advantage of those beneath them.

In other words, failure to protect the victims is a feature, not a bug. And the problem isn't that someone higher up in the hierarchy is taking advantage of their power, no. The problem is that someone lower down is complaining about it!

Realize the truth of that top dog attitude, and you'll understand why the big shots protect the offenders every.single.time.
posted by Lunaloon at 4:01 PM on September 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


we are a very long way from addressing all the clearly illegal sexual assault and harassment

The problem is ultimately the same thing that protects the gray areas. People are, by and large, okay with stopping sexual harassment and predation as long as they think it will be only one guy, and what he did is so obvious and terrible that no one else, especially not them, could ever be held to that standard. But if it’s men they can’t identify clearly as a monster, the first reaction is to protect because they know eventually it will come around to them.
posted by corb at 4:05 PM on September 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


One thing I will never understand is why administrators stick their necks out for pieces of shit like these.

Because the interests of (white) men are important, and the health and safety of girls are not. Especially, guys are owed sex; society makes damn sure we all know that good guys get laid and bad guys get laid and the only guys who don't get laid are total losers, and nobody wants to be that guy, and no man wants to make another guy be that guy, either.

Girls exist to provide sex to men - and they figure, if not now, then someday, so what's the harm in starting that early?

...I really want all the administrators involved in covering up these crimes to be charged with aiding & abetting, and possible conspiracy to commit rape and sexual abuse of a minor.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 5:07 PM on September 25, 2018 [7 favorites]


I went to this middle school, over 30 years ago. Back then there were rumors among us kids that we heard third-hand of a certain teacher and a certain girl who was older than us (and in high school at the time), but I don't think they ever were reported. I wonder if anything came of it.

All of those people who covered this up should be ashamed of themselves, especially the ones who made the one girl recant and HUG THE GUY, JESUS CHRIST! What scum. I am livid.

Anyway, this is the story that finally set me off into a rage-filled tirade today (after all the other sexual assault/rape things going around, and the non-consented pelvic exam under anesthesia thing).

Burn it all to the ground.

I guess the lesson learned here is go straight to the cops?
posted by cats are weird at 5:17 PM on September 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


I guess the lesson learned here is go straight to the cops?

I don't know that there is any lesson here, other than that rape culture exists and is terrible in every possible way.

(Also: nooooo that's not the lesson.)
posted by XtinaS at 5:25 PM on September 25, 2018


But why didn't they report it? Oh wait. *spits ineffectively at Republicans and anyone enabling them by not loudly supporting the Democrats*
posted by the agents of KAOS at 5:29 PM on September 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


[Couple comments removed. If you think something's hyperbolic over the top, just say so; please don't answer it by going even more hypberbolic and over the top and adding something gross to the thread in the process.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:48 PM on September 25, 2018


> I guess the lesson learned here is go straight to the cops?

I think the lesson is that agents of the state are in the main useless and that vigilante action is necessary.

This is not hyperbole. I stand by this statement.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:52 PM on September 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


The district pay $11 million but admits no wrong doing.

I admit this is just an Internet Tough Guy Fantasy, Middle Management Edition. But this is a government organization. I wish I had some oversight position and could ask them why, if they didn't do anything wrong, they spent millions of taxpayer dollars paying these young women. And how much their refusal to admit responsibility or mistake cost us during settlement negotiations. Bastards are using public dollars to cover up their abuse of the public trust placed in them.
posted by mark k at 6:46 PM on September 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


They paid out the $11 million, why not admit wrongdoing? They got sued, some of the mandatory reporters are actually facing criminal charges, etc. This isn't like with the cops where admitting a fuckup is violating the thin blue line or any such shit. These are school administrators. "We fucked up, we will do better in the future, we are sorry." How hard is that?

I think that the inability of any organization to admit to wrongdoings is a major flaw. I'm really not sure how to correct it though, except by making all settlements come with some kind of admission of at least "we know that what we did would make any reasonable person think we were guilty as hell and shit the bed, even though we are going to keep denying it."
posted by Hactar at 7:34 PM on September 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


New tag making the rounds to pair with #WhyIDidntReport - #ButNothingWasDone
posted by loquacious at 7:37 PM on September 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


I don't know that there is any lesson here, other than that rape culture exists and is terrible in every possible way.

(Also: nooooo that's not the lesson.)


and...

I think the lesson is that agents of the state are in the main useless and that vigilante action is necessary.

Let's try to do this rationally, that is without giving devolving into incoherent rage.

1) Rape culture does exist.

2) The goal is to stamp it out.

3) It's predicated on shaming the vulnerable, who are so shocked that they are unable to act.

So, looking forward it would seem that as a society, we need to replace that "shocked and unable to act" thing with effective training.

Consider the police. If a police officer feels their life and safety are at risk, they are to use whatever force needed, including lethal force, to remove that risk.

And they're not second guessed, either.

Therefore, if the goal is to eliminate rape culture, teaching every girl that they are to use the "Police Officer Safety Standard" to remove the perceived threat will move us significantly forward.

This is not vigilantism, but rather "Equal Protection of the Law". If that standard ensures police officer safety, it should be used to ensure everyone's safety.
posted by mikelieman at 7:49 PM on September 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


Horrifying. There is nothing that people won't do to protect a rapist. It has ceased to surprise me.
posted by geeklizzard at 7:55 PM on September 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Potential malware/malvertising on linked site

Well, that explains why my phone started locking up. Wish there was a note about that in the FPP itself.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 8:07 PM on September 25, 2018


I guess the lesson learned here is go straight to the cops?

Like they care? Let's not be naive.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:05 PM on September 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


> Potential malware/malvertising on linked site

Well, that explains why my phone started locking up. Wish there was a note about that in the FPP itself.


I got the subscription requirement as a big blocky ad thing. Use incognito/private.
posted by desuetude at 9:30 PM on September 25, 2018


>I guess the lesson learned here is go straight to the cops?

reddit thread on #ButNothingWasDone

posted by Cozybee at 9:31 PM on September 25, 2018


[Yeah, fwiw I have not been able to reproduce any malware behavior on multiple devices and browsers; if you're getting something like that, please send us some details/screenshots at the contact form. The site does throw up a subscription beg, but that is while pretty ehhhhh also not malware and not super notable among annoying site behavior norms.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:36 PM on September 25, 2018


This isn't like with the cops where admitting a fuckup is violating the thin blue line or any such shit.

It's exactly like that actually. Many teachers see themselves as the only thing between the kids and total anarchy. And they're not always wrong but, as always, that attitude leads to a silent agreement that they will act like they are all inherently right and their opposition is all inherently wrong. Like the police, the church, the coaching staff, the republicans and every religious fundamentalist ever.
posted by fshgrl at 10:10 PM on September 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


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