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Gimme an R... A... P... E... D... M... E...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nettdata, May 10, 2011.

  1. Nettdata

    Nettdata
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    Mr. Toast

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    This is interesting. Sad, but interesting.



    <a class="postlink" href="http://crooksandliars.com/nicole-belle/teenage-cheerleader-ordered-pay-schoo" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://crooksandliars.com/nicole-belle/ ... -pay-schoo</a>

    More info here: <a class="postlink" href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/cheerleader-must-compensate-school-that-told-her-to-clap-rapist-2278522.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 78522.html</a>

    I have to admit, my first gut instinct was "what the fuck, she should have been heard".

    But then I thought about it a bit, and kind of sided with the school on this. Either do the job that is expected of you, fully, or you're off the team. I can't imagine the shit that she's going through during one of the toughest and most emotional times of her life, but some part of me doesn't see an assaulted high-school girl just "not cheering for him". If I had to guess, I'd say that there was a lot of other shit going on. Maybe rightfully so, but still, high school IS the original house of drama, and I'd wager that she was disrupting things more than the oversimplified, heart-felt description would have you believe.

    So yeah, I think that they were well within their rights to kick her off the squad.

    I do NOT think that she should be responsible for the $45k in legal bills for the school though. Fuck that. Let the school board eat that.


    FOCUS: Discuss the story. What do you think?

    ALT-FOCUS: Did you ever have any run-ins with any of your schools' administrations?
     

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  2. Nettdata

    Nettdata
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    All you lawyers around here... what's your take? My first thought is that free speech is the total wrong approach for a lawsuit, and that the decision was the correct one on that basis; when she's part of a team, free speech doesn't come into play, as she has to do what is expected of her while on that cheer squad.

    She can't just go in and do her own thing and expect to be allowed to do it and suffer no consequences.

    But what about some other approach, like the school causing her mental anguish, or an unsafe environment, by allowing him around?

    Thoughts?
     
  3. PIMPTRESS

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    The Devil's Advocate in me wonders if she was assaulted in the first place...


    Assuming she was, she should not be part of anything or anyplace that may lead her to encounter her assailant. I wonder that she didn't change schools.
     
  4. audreymonroe

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    The most powerful cervix... in the world...

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    Wait, what? The girl was in high school? I've been seeing this story around the lady blogs, but haven't read much into it, and all this time I thought she was a professional cheerleader. I can see why the Supreme Court didn't pick it up, and agree that it's not the type of case they should be spending their time on. I don't think free speech was the right approach, but I'm not sure what would be more appropriate. But to be kicked off the team in high school over that and continue to stick to their guns as she's bringing it to the courts? Give me a fucking BREAK. That girl had every right to not cheer for him independently when he made a shot. (This detail continues to make the situation even more ridiculous. I thought she was refusing to be a part of any of the cheers, or something.) If he was on the team of a different school, I would think she would have had every right to ask to be excused from cheering for any games where her school played theirs. Because it's FUCKING HIGH SCHOOL. And, thanks to Friday Night Lights, I know that sports are really important in Texan high schools...but then again, it's also FUCKING HIGH SCHOOL. The argument for "Oh, well, it's her job" is completely ridiculous. I think it's the school's job to not care about the uniformity of their cheerleading squad more than the psychological well-being of one of their students.
     
  5. Nettdata

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    Personally, I'm kind of surprised they let him play after he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

    If it were my choice, I'd say she gets first selection on what she wants to do, and if it's to be part of the cheer squad, then he doesn't get to play on any teams that they cheer for.
     
  6. MoreCowbell

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    Sure, she hasn't limited speech rights in her capacity as a cheerleader. They are, as far as I can tell, within their legal rights to say that if she chooses not to fully participate, she always has the option of not being on the squad (seeing as it is an optional extracurricular).

    but regardless of whether it's a legitimate legal issue, it is a YOU-FUCKING-ASSHOLE issue.

    Legality doesn't change the fact that the authority figures are morally repugnant. If they had let the cheerleader just keep her silence, it would have done no one any harm. Except perhaps hurting the feelings of a rapist. Instead, they let "school spirit" and the ridiculous hoopla surrounding football/basketball get in the way of them fulfilling their responsibilities as 1) educators, 2) adults, and 3) people.

    She a young, teenage girl who has gone through trauma, and the state places her in your care because they believe that you have the ability to help her to grow as a person. Part of your job is to protect these people. And this is how you act.

    The coach, superintendent, everyone who let this happen should be ashamed of him/herself, and should have stood behind this poor girl every step of the way. Even if it meant resigning.
     
  7. scootah

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    Really? He raped a girl and not only didn't send him to jail, but they didn't even expell him?

    In Texas, where 'he was legally repossessing my car' is grounds for legally shooting someone... they not only didn't let her father take him out and shoot him, or even shoot his balls off, the didn't send the kid to jail, or even send him to another fucking school for the rest of the school year, oh no, they sent him back to the same school, kicked the girl off the cheer squad for not cheering for her rapist, and fined her for having the termerity to object?

    What.The.Fuck.

    How the fuck do you plead out on a rape charge from one of your classmates and not even have to change school? Is his last name Bush or something?
     
  8. Nettdata

    Nettdata
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    I think legally, the school was well within its rights to do what it did. I also question taking such a case to the Supreme Court. Is the Supreme Court the proper venue for something like this? I don't have any idea... I'm not a lawyer living in my mom's non-basement.

    I think ethically, the entire school board and every member of the administration involved with this should be lined up against the wall and shot.
     
  9. MoreCowbell

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    Welcome to rape prosecution, at least in the US. Because these cases are often have less hard evidence than one might like and face cultural skepticism regarding the victim's claims, prosecutors often have to choose between shitty outcomes and even shittier outcomes.

    Convicting rapists is very, very hard. I wouldn't be surprised if the guy in question refused to plead to a lesser charge without those preconditions, and the DA in question didn't want to risk the crap shoot of a trial.


    They didn't start at the Supreme Court. Their request for the SC to hear them was in appeal of the lower court's ruling.
     
  10. scootah

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    I'm not a lawyer anywhere, and certainly not in Texas, but the state that leads the world in executing intellectually impaired negros and shooting tresspassers never struck me as a place that's soft on crime. Kids in my highschool were expelled for smoking weed at home and not getting caught if one of the other kids ratted them out to the school. Kids got pulled off the basketball team for getting a C- in Algebra for fuck sake.

    How do you as a school administrator, go up in front of the PTA and say 'As you may have heard, Jimmy Bush raped one of our cheer leaders earlier this month, and I'm sure we can all sympathize with her and her parents. As you may be aware however, Jimmy leads the division in three point shots and free throws this season, so I'm sure you'll all join me in welcoming him back to class now that he's copped a plea and dodged jail time! Parents of other cheer leaders may wish to review their daughter's use of birth control just in case, additionally if any of the cheer leaders are allergic to Rohypnol, please let Coach White know.'
     
  11. MoreCowbell

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    Response from Texas crowd: "Well if they're using birth control, those harlots probably deserved it anyway. Plus, we need Jimmy for playoffs!"
     
  12. DrFrylock

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    If this were a private school or a private cheerleading organization, would there even be a free speech issue here? My assumption is that a public school is being treated as an arm of the government...
     
  13. scootah

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    The more I read about this, the more I get the sense that the legal arguments from the girls side come down to 'Look, I know we're stretching the strict letter of the law, but can you believe these assholes tried to make her cheer for her fucking rapist?' and unfortunately, that's not flying with the court.

    I'm stunned that there's not something fucking illegal about what's happened. And that the court process isn't about if her father was merely justified in shooting the rapist in the knees, or should be given some kind of public recognition for awesomeness. But from everything I've read - the school didn't break any of the laws that the girls lawyers have raised. Which is beyond fucked. I would have thought there'd be some kind of duty of care that the school had grossly neglected by not removing the rapist from the class - but since her lawyers haven't raised that in anything I've read, I can only assume that Texan schools don't have any kind of obligation to not be fuckheads.
     
  14. Aetius

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    This story has been going around like a game of telephone with herpes, getting mangled and warty in the process. A quick breakdown of the timeline that explains a whole lot:

    Oct 2008: Girl is raped at a party
    Jan 2009: First grand jury fails to indict
    Feb 2009: Basketball game in question
    May 2009: Girl sues the school
    Oct 2009: Suit is dismissed
    Dec 2009: Second grand jury indicts
    -Bolton pleads down to assault
    Sept 2009: Bolton sentenced to 1 year suspended sentence, 2 years probation, 150 hours community service and $2,500
    Sept 2009: 5th Circuit affirms lower court's decision to dismiss lawsuit
    May 2011: US Supreme Court declines to hear case
     
  15. Noland

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    Here is the original opinion from the US Fifth Circuit. (PDF)

    It's full of some fairly dense legal speak, but the free speech angle was not the only claim the girl's parent's brought. I haven't looked at the lower Court pleadings because it costs money to view those and I'm too cheap for that, but I would bet whoever represented this girl and her parents did a piss poor job of pleading this case.

    I haven't looked any further than the 5th Circuit's opinion, but it looks legally correct. On a side note, she was assaulted by 2 men, not just one.
     
  16. silway

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    I was reading this thread and just waiting to get to the end to post what I wanted to say and you beat me to it. Legally, based on just the bits I've heard, the USSC probably made the correct choice. Because of the precedential (I may have made that word up) power of the USSC they really have to be emotionless martinets sometimes. However, everyone involved in the administration of that school who had any kind of say in all of this failed. Abjectly failed. They failed to suspend or expel the rapist. They failed to kick him off the goddamn team. And they failed to be a human being and not give this girl shit for not clapping during some goddamn free throws. Now, if they'd expelled him or kicked him off the team maybe *he* would have sued... but they obviously don't mind being sued so I wouldn't buy that as a defense of their actions. These people suck as school administrators and they suck as people. I hope the girl or her family sets up some kind of fundraiser to help pay the legal fees. It'd be worth donating to.
     
  17. BL1Y

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    This is high school, not college. The incident didn't take place on school grounds, and he hasn't been accused of harassing or doing anything else at school. He shouldn't be expelled. Also, he wasn't convicted of rape, he was convicted of misdemeanor assault. It would be very bad policy to expel people for any crime they're accused of without a conviction.

    Alleged rapist. And, if he raped her on school grounds after the first incident, the school would in fact be on the hook. After the incident was made public, the school likely did have a duty to make sure he didn't attack her on campus. And, he didn't. The school fulfilled its obligations, so there's no negligence. You can sue if actually harmed, but not for merely being exposed to the risk of a harm.


    In addition to the free speech claim, her lawyers also argued the school failed to protect her bodily integrity (dismissed because she wasn't physically harmed at school ever) and to protect her from stigmatization (not a claim), and that she had a property interest in her position on the cheerleading squad that was taken without due process (a property what? no).

    The school district filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted, and the court gave the plaintiff leave to amend their filing. After the amendment, the school district again filed to dismiss for failure to state a claim, and the court dismissed the case. (The appeals are from that decision to dismiss.)

    Hopefully her lawyer will eat the bill, since its his fault for pursuing such a flawed claim. But, it's entirely plausible the parents insisted they get their day in court, no matter how flimsy the case is, in which case sorry, you're on the hook.
     
  18. Noland

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    Two lower court's rulings, actually: The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
     
  19. Nom Chompsky

    Nom Chompsky
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    EDIT: If you plead guilty to misdemeanor assault, you are almost by definition guilty of it or worse. No lawyer in his or her right mind would have a client plead to a worse crime than they actually committed.

    Would they?


    If you're keeping score at home:

    Rape a girl: short suspension.

    Refuse to clap: YOU ARE NO LONGER A CHEERLEADER.

    Holy misplaced priorities batman. I'm not sure that he should or could have been expelled, but the fact that he wasn't kicked off the team, or at the very least buried at the end of the bench, makes me very sad inside. Cheerleading isn't a right, but neither is playing fucking high school basketball, and the school made a terrible situation worse.
     
  20. Frebis

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    You have to remember that juvenile records are sealed. Technically the school shouldn't even know that he has been accused of rape.

    My Dad has worked in the juvenile court system his entire adult life. The school has a rule that states if you get caught drinking, you get kicked off a sports team. Sometimes high school athletes would get charged with underage consumption. If the school caught wind of this through the rumor mill they would first call Dad and ask him about it. Dad would tell them he can not talk about it, because the student is juvenile and the records are not for public consumption.

    Due to the fact that most school administrators are power hungry ass holes, this would anger them. The principle would then call down the student to interrogate them about their drinking. Luckily my father had usually already coached the juvenile about how to handle the situation. "Tell them it is none of their business". This would infuriate the school, but they had no legal ground to stand on.

    This strategy kept several of my friends on the playing field, as well as countless other athletes. The only way the school could punish them is if they admitted to wrong doing. I'm going to make a semi-baseless assumption this is what happened to this scumbag.

    Personally I feel he should be shot in the balls too.

    It all comes down to this- The school can kick you off something for being insubordinate. The girl was insubordinate. The guy (while he may be a rapest) didn't disobey the school. Thus they have no legal grounds to kick him off the team.