Ask for the Resignation or Removal of Dr. Paul Grippa from Athens City School Board

Ask for the Resignation or Removal of Dr. Paul Grippa from Athens City School Board

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Emmalyn Brown started this petition to Athens City Schools and

I call on the Board of Education of the Athens City School District, the superintendent and all other concerned individuals to dismiss Dr. Paul Grippa or ask for his Resignation from the Athens City School District Board due to the known mishandling of a case of student on student sexual violence, of which I was the victim. Following a year of sexual harassment, I was assaulted by a fellow student in 2010. Dr. Grippa did not report my case to authorities, destroyed case notes and told me I had to apologize to my perpetrator.  

I express concern that Dr. Grippa’s actions signify a violation Athens City Schools Policy as I was unable to learn effectively every day of my secondary schooling career due to the nature of the case. The hostile environment it created when it was not correctly addressed thus violated my Title IX rights and right to learn (20 U.S.C. 1981, 20 U.S.C. 6319). 

 In my case:

· When I gave names of potential witnesses, my principal refused to investigate.

· I was told by Dr. Grippa that some of the locations where I had been harassed and assaulted were not within the school’s jurisdiction, which was false.

· Upon reporting my sexual assault to Dr. Grippa, the police department was not involved or even contacted.

· Dr. Grippa told me that my perpetrator needed an apology, that I was the one to blame. My perpetrator did not face any repercussions.

· Dr. Grippa told me that the administrators had previously heard rumors of such behaviors and did not investigate.

· I continued to have classes with my perpetrator and experienced bullying and continued harassment throughout high school.

· As far as I understood, there was no institutional memory of what had happened in my case.

· Current Superintendent Gibbs told me that Dr. Grippa had destroyed my case notes.

The board acknowledges the grave impact of harassment (2260), which in this case led to my diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The sexual violence I experienced is defined under the prohibited behaviors of Athens City Schools including bullying and other prohibited behaviors (5517, 8400), as well as unlawful harassment which is also prohibited (1662) and violated ASCD’s mission to provide a safe environment free from such behaviors (8400). I am concerned about Dr. Grippa’s ability to show sound judgment and uphold the ethical principles and responsibilities he must use as a board member. He may have previously violated his responsibilities to undertake a formal investigation, to report my case to the proper authorities (8462) or the superintendent (613) as was dictated to him by board policy as Principal of Athens Middle School. In relation to my case, Dr. Grippa may have violated O.S.R. 2151.421 which dictates Ohio state mandated reporting law under which he was and remains responsible as a school authority.

As I know that the board both acknowledges student rights of citizenship (5780), and its responsibility to the public (0118), I too am exercising my rights to take such action. I call upon the board to respect the oath of office that each member must take (0142.1), ask for the respect of the policies that detail the ethical actions, legal compliance and exemplary behavior that each member must show as laid out by the board (0142, 1200, 2110).

I ask for your support in the removal of board member Dr. Paul Grippa (0146). 

I am also asking for the creation of a student climate advisory board, (or another such body by which students can address their concerns about hostile climates created by sexual harassment or violence) and a review of policies and sexual violence prevention mechanisms.

You can see more about my reasoning for creating the petition here:

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At 150,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on!