Demand that Austin Independent School District Stop Sexual Assault and Start Training

Demand that Austin Independent School District Stop Sexual Assault and Start Training

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Julia Heilrayne started this petition to Austin Independent School Disotrict

My name is Julia Heilrayne. I went to high school at Stephen F. Austin High, part of the Austin Independent School District (AISD). While at an AISD event, another student sexually assaulted me. Initially, I chose not to report it. But I learned that the boy who assaulted me had also assaulted another girl, and so out of concern for other students' safety, I reported what happened.

After I reported it, the teachers and principal at my school didn’t seem to know what to do. They pulled me out of class multiple times to repeat my story, even after making an official statement. The principal of my school, Amy Taylor, brought me into her office and presented me with a "Stay Away Agreement" that said I would not be allowed to talk to my assaulter. She would not tell me if the boy who assaulted me would have to sign it or if she would do anything else to keep other people safe. When I told her I didn't want to sign it, she said I could not leave her office until I did so.


When I explained the same boy who assaulted me had been harassing me before the assault and had assaulted another girl, she told me to stop talking about those things, as those cases were closed. Then she told me that perhaps if I had screamed during my assault, it wouldn't have happened. I was furious and hurt. Because I had no choice, I signed the stay away agreement.


The same boy assaulted another girl at my school after I reported my assault to the principal. She chose not to report it after seeing how hard it was for me. It makes me sad, because her assault could have been prevented if the principal had done something to protect students instead of threatening and silencing me.


The next fall, I talked with some friends about what happened to me and Austin High's administration heard about this. They pulled me into another meeting. The principal told me that if I continued to talk about it, with my friends or on social media, they would suspend me.


I went to Superintendent Paul Cruz and told him what happened. He was very concerned, and the district eventually agreed to required all of its staff to receive an updated, better training that Texas Association Against Sexual Assault offered for free. The comprehensive training would prepare AISD teachers and staff on how to handle sexual harassment and assault.


Now that Dr. Cruz has stepped down, AISD has a new superintendent, Dr. Elizalde. The district has gone back on its word and is refusing to require its employees to take the training.  


By signing this petition, you are demanding that AISD follow through on their commitment, train their teachers and staff, and protect future students from the kind of horrendous treatment that I experienced.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!