Tell Silsbee HS: Don't Make Victim Pay $35,000 For Refusal to Cheer Rapist
  • Petitioned Eldon Franco

This petition was delivered to:

Principal, Silsbee High School
Eldon Franco
Athletic Director, Silsbee High School
Bobby McGallion
Superintendent, Silsbee Independent School District
Richard Bain, Jr.
Silsbee Board of Trustees

Tell Silsbee HS: Don't Make Victim Pay $35,000 For Refusal to Cheer Rapist

    1. Sponsored by

      <span>CREDO Action</span>

Rah, rah, sis boom bah: Silsbee High School in Texas wants their cheerleaders smiling, energetic, and willing to cheer for their rapists by name.

H.S., a Silsbee student, reported being raped by Rakheem Bolton, a fellow student and athletic star. Bolton pled guilty to a lesser assault charge against her.

Bolton was allowed to continue playing on the varsity basketball team, which meant that in her role as cheerleader, H.S. would have to cheer for a team that included her rapist. She continued to do so, but refused to cheer for him by name during his individual free throws.

In a display of extreme disrespect for a rape survivor and disregard for her well-being, school officials insisted that H.S. had to scream "Rakheem" with the rest of the cheerleaders, or she'd be kicked off the squad. School officials also pushed H.S. "to keep a low profile, such as avoiding the school cafeteria and not taking part in homecoming activities." She refused these instructions and lost her spot as a cheerleader.

Tell Silsbee officials that this is no way to treat rape victims, and insist that they publicly issue an apology to H.S. immediately. Furthermore, tell them to instate a policy outlining appropriate treatment of sexual assault survivors, which does not put the onus on the victim to ensure smooth interactions at the school, and to instate prevention programs that have been suggested by H.S.'s father.

Update: H.S.'s family lost a First Amendment lawsuit, with the court deciding that cheerleaders are only a "mouthpiece" for their schools, with no right to refuse their to cheer their rapists. The court further declared the lawsuit "frivolous" and has ordered the family to pay more than $35,000 in legal fees. For the school to take money from a rape victim over their clear misconduct -- even if it's not for free speech reasons -- is beyond the pale. Demand that Silsbee refuse to take money from the victim's family.

Update: Want to do something else for H.S.? Journalist Scott Rose is calling for people to mail one penny to the Silsbee School District if the superintendent will not waive the fee as a form of protest. You're encouraged to send a note expressing your POV on the subject as well. Pennies should be mailed to:

Richard Bain Jr.
Silsbee Independent School District
415 Highway 327 West
Silsbee, TX, 77656

If you'd like to help H.S.'s family with their own legal fees, you can donate via Paypal to the address

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 150,000 signatures
    2. Free Speech Lawsuit By Student Forced to Cheer Rapist Found Not "Frivolous"

      The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week overruled a decision requiring a Texas cheerleader to pay $35,000 in legal fees after she sued the high school that forced her to cheer for a basketball player who pled guilty to assaulting her.

    3. Bias Against Rape Victim In Silsbee Newspaper?

      The Silsbee Bee seems to have an agenda in covering the cheerleader case.

    4. Reached 100,000 signatures
    5. ABC News Covers The Campaign!

      ABC News covers online efforts - like this one - to aid the Silsbee cheerleader & her family.

    6. Ms. Magazine releases second part of their investigative report. Read it!

    7. Reached 75 signatures
    8. Injury Board attorney and ABA Advisory Board member blogs against court decision finding victim's serious First Amendment question "frivolous" and supporting petition:

    9. Comic artist who worked on the Simpsons sold 20 custom sketches to raise money for H.S.'s legal fees:

    10. Reached 50 signatures
    11. A group of young activists founded to raise funds for H.S. & her family - check the many creative ways you can help!

    12. Ms. Magazine reveals new details about the treatment of H.S. by her school and classmates:

    13. Reached 40 signatures
    14. A penny for protest?

    15. Reached 30 signatures
    16. The Supreme Court denied H.S.'s appeal this week, so the ruling that she is nothing but a "mouthpiece" and has to pay the school $45,000 for a "frivolous" lawsuit stands. Stay tuned for further updates to this petition.

    17. Father of Student Forced to Cheer for Her Rapist Fights for Justice

      Since hearing the story of a 15-year-old Silsbee High School cheerleader who was kicked off her squad for refusing to cheer for a basketball player who assaulted her, over 12,000 of you have sent messages to school officials insisting on a public...


    Reasons for signing

    • Bethany Blondin TURLOCK, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      As a girl, this is atrocious to me. How dare you let the rapist off easy and punish the victim.

    • Katelynn McKeeth EAGLE MOUNTAIN, UT
      • almost 2 years ago

      That is not okay!

    • Shirley Houck MOORE, OK
      • almost 2 years ago

      This is an outlandish result of the good ole boy system that is still going strong in the south. How in the world could the school even begin to support the rapist in so many ways. This is the worst thing that coiuld happen to this child. Its hard enough to get young girls to report a rape, much less show them they will be punished not only by havin gto relive the details over and over, but by there own peers and school system. If this boy hadnt been a star football playr the school would have sided with her. That alone is enough to show cause for a lawsuit against the school in my eyes. This is an outrage against all women

    • Ivy Le ANAHEIM, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      A rapist should never be favored over a VICTIM.

    • kaila gottlieb IRVINE, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      Any rapist should be put in jail, if not worse.


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