After incidents of sexual violence in LCPS, students take a stand for justice.


By: Njeri Jackson

A few weeks ago, an incident came out to the LCPS community that a 14 year old girl was raped in a bathroom by a fellow student that had entered the girl’s bathroom under the transgender policy, which allows trans students to use the restroom of their affiliated gender. The first incident occurred at Broad Run, and the student was transferred to Stonebridge earlier this year. The student attempted a similar act to what he did at Broad Run, which is what people are hearing about now. 

October 26th, there was a county wide walkout to support an end to sexual violence and promote safety in schools. At Tuscarora, the walkout occured from 10:45-10:55, and was monitored by staff, police officers, and other personnel. Students were instructed to wear white to show their support for the cause, and although many students were out there to simply miss part of class, there was a large number of students that were passionate about this issue. When asked about their feelings about the incidents, all students that were interviewed mentioned how wrong the situation was and their problems with how the situation was handled. One student mentioned how “the school should have dealt with the situation better,” and numerous students said that it made them feel “more unsafe” in school. Riley, a freshman, added that she “felt more unsafe around men” with Michaela, another freshman, adding, “women too.” While females are often shown as the victims of sexual assault, it is important to realize that males can also be victims, and that they can be just as passionate about this issue as females. When asked his thoughts, Isiah, a young male student at the school, said that “the event shouldn’t have happened, and that it shouldn’t have been covered up,” adding that “they should have been prosecuted immediately after it was found out.” 


As a student that is passionate about prevention of sexual harassment and abuse, I was thrilled to be at the event. I think that there is a problem with the amount of sexual harassment and abuse that people can get away with at our school and in this country in general. I was concerned and offended that the county would cover up this terrible act to protect a policy on their agenda. I am not against the transgender policy, and I fully respect it, but it seemed obvious to me that their would be an incident like this because the policy directly runs the risk of putting others in danger. Estefani, Riley, Kailey, three seniors that attend Tuscarora, expressed their concern about the issues saying, “Like if we go into the bathroom, is a man just going to start doing something? We don’t know!” reflecting a fear that many have as a result of the new policy and what has happened.  It’s disrespectful that this student, and others, would take advantage of the policy: these people are not only abusing a policy that was supposed to be positive for the LGBTQ+ community, but it is also infringing on the cares of other students. I remember hearing this policy had passed and freaking out because I, like these girls, generally didn’t feel safe with the idea that someone could pose as transgender and come into the bathroom with the intention of harming someone (and vice versa), so I was shaken when I heard that one of my worst fears had actually happened. 

To be honest though, this type of behavior is normal for so many people. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime. To make it worse, one in three females and one in four males experienced completed or attempted rape for the first time between the age of 11 and 17. This is a horrifying statistic. Children are being abused, and it’s not even a rare occurrence.  

Schools need to stop brushing over these issues. “The school should try harder to keep this from happening,” Pat, a sophomore at Tuscarora, said, “because I don’t think that they care as much as they should.” It is not enough for them to just say don’t do this, it involves action and consequence. Students also need to take a stand for these issues as well; if a student sees something happening or knows about it, they should speak up. Victims are often riddled with feelings of guilt, shame, pain, embarrassment, and other negative feelings that shove them into silence. They don’t always want to talk about it, and they are often scared to tell people or report it. Schools need to stand up and initiate more awareness for victims of sexual harassment and abuse. It’s time to #KeepOurSchoolsSafe.