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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
While school leadership at Red Bank High School and media outlets report that a student at the school was sexually assaulted last week, the type of assault may have been substantially downplayed.
According to a social media post of one of the victim’s classmates, the attack was far more devastating than what has been shared to the media.
On December 14th a fellow student wrote:
“We the students at Red Bank High have heavy hearts tonight. One of our fellow classmates was sexually assaulted right here at home in the place we are forced to go daily. A foreign student who didn’t speak English was taught by some people to say the N word. He didn’t know what it even meant. He says it and 2 boys dragged him into the bathroom and sexually assaulted the boy who is only 14. Another boy followed and recorded it on video before proceeding to post it on his snapchat. This is not okay! The abuse we endure at school is not okay! Abuse from administrators, and abuse from bullies they say have zero tolerance for. Schools aren’t safe for us and we all feel that someone should stand beside this student and his parents and let him know it’s not his fault and that someone has his back. None of our parents were contacted and none of us students were informed as if we don’t matter and have the right to know what’s going on around us in our school. This is not okay and another thing red bank schools are going to try and sweep under the rug. We students won’t sit around and let the students who were absolute monsters get to keep this hush hush. The victim’s name doesn’t matter here as I’m sure he’s ashamed and embarrassed for something someone else did to him. What matters is that his story be heard and not just brushed under the rug. Hamilton County schools do better!!!!”
The rest of the post called for parents and the community to join students in a walkout the following morning to “demonstrate solidarity and the absolute need for change in our schools.”
Several students walked out last Friday to protest what they say is a common occurrence at the school – the coverup of similar incidents.
Spokesman Steve Doremus said that a student reported being “touched inappropriately” over his clothes by some other students and that school administrators took immediate action after the assault had been reported.
Both the school resource deputy and Red Bank Police were contacted and a report was filed with the Department of Children’s Services.
Subsequently, a police investigation into the alleged sexual assault was begun and also a Title IX investigation.
Doremus said that the school was providing support to the victim and that three students had received “discipline appropriate for the reported offense and are not at school.”
The assault took place December 12th but parents were not notified until three days later when the school sent out an email.
“Student safety is our highest priority,” read the email but students at Red Bank High would disagree.
One senior who was interviewed during the protest said that the school is creating conditions that make assaults more likely to happen.
When asked why they had decided to protest another student cited nonstop bullying, harassment, and sexual abuse as some of the reasons and also that the school wasn’t doing enough to stop it.
Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Justin Robertson said he understands why some in the community are upset about not being notified sooner and blamed the fact that there was an ongoing police investigation that the district did not want to interfere with.
Students reported being locked out after the student-led protest began on Friday morning and that some school staff tried to shut them down. Disciplinary action was threatened.
Robertson said that the district was aware of the protest and that the rights of the students to walk out was supported.
The three students accused of sexual assault have since been expelled.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at email@example.com.