Why We Believe Victims: School Principal Recorded Vowing to Have Police Discredit Student's Sexu
We live in a world where Omarosa has shown us it's best to watch what you say just in case you're being recorded and still some folks manage to get caught slipping. In this case, however, we're more than thankful that someone had the courage to catch High School Principal Aqueelah James on tape.
The incident happened in June when a freshman at Roosevelt High School in Washington was sexually assaulted on school property. The girl and her mother had a meeting with the principal to discuss the ramifications. At first, James promised to handle everything swiftly and seek justice for the girl but, the conversation became too much for the young victim. The girl left the office upset and her mother followed behind her to comfort her daughter. The mother, sensing something was up, left her cellphone on to record what was being said when they left the room.
What happened next has caused the school principal more drama than a prime time reality show. Take a listen.
The recording is now evidence in a lawsuit against the principal and the D.C. Government with the victim and her family seeking damages to the tune of $5 million!
The Washington Post reports:
"D.C. Public Schools released a statement Wednesday saying that an internal investigation had been conducted into James’s handling of the sexual assault allegation. Schools officials refused to disclose the findings.
“DCPS does not tolerate sexual misconduct or harassment in our schools. We take the safety and security of all of our students seriously, and while we cannot discuss the specifics of personnel matters, when the issue at Roosevelt was brought to our attention we launched an investigation and took action,” the statement said.
On Thursday morning, LaToya Foster, a spokeswoman for Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), said that after reviewing the recording, the mayor had directed school officials to re-examine James’s conduct.
“The safety of our students is paramount, and we expect all who work with our students to be compassionate and supportive,” Foster said. “After reviewing the tape, the matter will be reviewed further by DCPS.”
Schools officials did not dispute the authenticity of the recording."
Oftentimes victims are shamed, discredited and made to feel like they are the guilty party. THIS is why they don't speak up. THIS IS WHY women don't tell on their abusers until decades have passed.
If there is ever a place where a child should feel safe and valued, outside of their home, it's at school and this principal just ruined that notion for a lot of children.