Does Sexual Assault Happen at Tahoma?

Not something that we talk about everyday, but it is something that we need to draw attention to

Alexandria Buck, Staff

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Why is it that some of the more serious topics in school are also among the topics that are never talked about and never brought up? According to Rainn, a group that tracks and documents sexual assaults, nearly 58,000 reported assaults happened in 2016. And of that number, “66% of kids-teens, ages 12-17, are sexually assaulted [of reported sexual assaults].” An article by Rainn, Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network. The article also states that 34% of sexual assaults also happen to kids who are under the age of 12. If sexual assault is such a big deal why is it never talked about? 

For some students, the topic of sexual assault is one that is considered not polite to talk about in school. “It’s just like one of those subjects that you shouldn’t touch on. Just as an unspeakable rule to not talk about it.”  Kathryn Ledford a 10th grader at Tahoma High school. 

“Having one verbally or physically disrespect someone else.” Lillyann Bauer, a sophomore at Tahoma High School, gave us her definition of what sexual assault to her is. 

Bauer said, “yes, I think sexual assault happens at Tahoma High school. It is not uncommon for me to hear the young girls in our school being harassed with inappropriate comments.” 

“From 2011 to 2015, about 17,000 sexual assaults were committed by U.S. students, Associated Press (AP) found, although the number is likely much higher because assaults are under-reported and mislabeled as bullying.” Cindy Long said in her article about the “Secret of Sexual Assault in Schools” 

Seeing things from a guy’s point of view can change things in many ways. “Sexual assault is not a big deal at Tahoma High School,” said Henry Rose, a sophomore at Tahoma High School. Rose goes on to say that “Yes, I have heard guys talking about it in the halls and even seen it happen at times.” Even by those who say it’s not a major issue recognize that it does happen.

 Contradictory to what Rose said Bauer believes that “People are afraid to stand up so to mention people think that they can get away with it.”  This may help explain why some people may see something but fail to say anything.

School should be a safe place. Walking the halls should be safe, and that happens when it’s safe to talk about the things that do or can happen. There are some things that we need to be more open about and sexual assault is one of them.