Discussing the Realities of Sexual Assault in High Schools

Discussing the Realities of Sexual Assault in High Schools

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Hailey Edwards started this petition to School Board

Sexual assault is not something that waits for you to become an adult. In fact, based on the CDC's 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, around 10 percent of high school students were sexually assaulted in 2017, with females (15 percent) experiencing higher rates than males (4.3 percent). This does not include gender non-conforming students or the ones who did not report their assault. Not to mention, all of the students who faced these things at a much younger age.

The fact of it is Omaha Public Schools knows the realities of this issue. In 2017 a 20-year-old Junior at Omaha Central High School raped his 14-year-old "girlfriend". More recently it has home out that an Omaha North High School security guard and coach preyed on a student for the duration of her time spent there. She was being taken to a closet and assaulted during school hours and later to motel rooms. Imagine what kind of emotional toll that took on her and her academics, being dropped off at school every day and knowing what would likely happen to her. The girl was 15 when the assault started, yet she didn't come out about it until she was a 21-year-old woman. It makes me wonder what would have happened if her school offered her more resources.

This is a world issue more than it is a school issue, but it is important to start from the base and work up. In a world where words like "allegedly" and "girlfriend" are intentionally used to invalidate a survivor's experience, it is important to support and raise the youth to be a better next generation. While we have a brief section on sexual and domestic violence in human growth, a movie does not teach as much as there needs to be taught. No matter how open the administration and counselors are to offering a safe space for students to share their stories, some students may not be able to identify within themselves what happened to them was not okay. This is why rape and rape culture should not be taboo subjects in schools. Each school needs to have an assembly, class, larger section in human growth, anything more than they have; centered entirely on sexual assault and broadcast their willingness to listen and help.

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