To the editor:
I am appalled by your comments last week about the Virginia student involved in an assault in a school restroom.
First of all, you say that you got your information from Virginia court records, but juvenile records are sealed to the public.
Second, just because a female says “yes” twice does not mean that if she then says “no” it is still OK. It is not. Have you heard of the “Me-Too” movement?
The male student also allegedly kidnapped and sexually molested another female student in an empty classroom at a different high school a few months after the restroom attack.
Does it make the first attack more believable now that a second attack occurred? The male student was eventually found guilty in October on two counts of sexual assault for the restroom incident.
You are correct: It is a sinful failure on the part of school officials. But it has everything to do with transgender students using restrooms.
In August, that school board passed a transgender bathroom policy. The male student should not have been in the girl’s bathroom. The first incident happened before there was a policy in place.
And here is the rest of the story: The superintendent denied any sexual assault, yet emailed all board members about the assault. The school board did not inform parents about the crimes and also stated that they were not informed about it.
There are resignation requests and recalls of almost all school board members as well as the superintendent of schools, as there should be.
Parents deserve to know about dangers to their children while at school, and the school is responsible for protecting their children from danger. This is not fear-mongering. It is informing parents about situations like this.
And one last issue. You erroneously reported that I am a retired school psychiatrist. I am not. I am a retired school psychologist.
Editor’s note: The point of our editorial was to condemn half-truths. The letter writer unwittingly provides several examples of them.
She implies we stated the attack was OK because the victim previously had consented. In fact, our editorial clearly states just the opposite — that the assailants’ failure to secure permission for a third sexual encounter was “sinful.”
She questions our facts, which are the same as what were reported by the New York Times, Washington Post, and National Public Radio, by contending that all juvenile records are sealed. She then proceeds to provide details of her own, which ought to be subject to the same limitations, and actually repeats as fact the same facts we reported.
The point was — and is — that whether happened was a tragedy, but allowing or not allowing transgender students in certain bathrooms isn’t the cause. As the writer points out, another assault by the same student was alleged to have happened in a classroom, not a bathroom. Blame the assailant and irresponsible school officials, not gender signs on bathroom doors.
As for the writer’s former job title, yes, we once incorrectly listed her former occupation several weeks ago. We also correctly listed it in several other stories before and after. We apologize for the one article that was in error.
Last modified Nov. 17, 2021