05-20-2018  4:59 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Oregon State study says it's OK to eat placenta after all

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — First experts said eggs are bad for you, then they say it's OK to eat them. Is red wine good for your heart or will it give you breast cancer?Should you eat your placenta?Conflicting research about diets is nothing new, but applying the question to whether new mothers...

US arrest, raids in Seattle pot probe with China ties

SEATTLE (AP) — U.S. authorities have arrested a Seattle woman, conducted raids and seized thousands of marijuana plants in an investigation into what they say is an international black market marijuana operation financed by Chinese money, a newspaper reported Saturday.Authorities are still...

State sees need to reduce elk damage in the Skagit Valley

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Elk are easy to spot against the green backdrop of the Skagit Valley, where much of the resident North Cascades elk herd that has grown to an estimated 1,600 is found.For farmers in the area — especially those who grow grass for their cattle or to sell to...

Famed mini sub's control room to become future exhibit

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport has a new addition to its archives — the salvaged control room of the legendary, one-of-a-kind Cold War-era miniature submersible NR-1.Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy, conceived the idea for the...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Guess who's coming to Windsor? Royal ceremony weds cultures

BURLINGTON, New Jersey (AP) — With a gospel choir, black cellist and bishop, Oprah, Serena and Idris Elba in the audience and an African-American mother-of-the-bride, Saturday's wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle was a blend of the solemn and the soulful.Guess who's...

A royal wedding bridges the Atlantic and breaks old molds

WINDSOR, England (AP) — The son of British royalty and the daughter of middle-class Americans wed Saturday in a service that reflected Prince Harry's royal heritage, Meghan Markle's biracial roots and the pair's shared commitment to putting a more diverse, modern face on the monarchy.British...

First class for Mississippi school after desegregation deal

CLEVELAND, Miss. (AP) — A small Mississippi Delta town whose rival high schools were combined last year under a desegregation settlement has held its first graduation ceremony.No longer Trojans and Wildcats, they're all Wolves now at Cleveland Central High School, whose seniors collected...

ENTERTAINMENT

Reggie Lucas, who worked with Miles Davis and Madonna, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Reggie Lucas, the Grammy-winning musician who played with Miles Davis in the 1970s and produced the bulk of Madonna's debut album, has died. He was 65.The performer's daughter, Lisa Lucas, told The Associated Press that her father died from complications with his heart early...

Broadcast networks go for milk-and-cookies comfort this fall

NEW YORK (AP) — If provocative, psyche-jangling shows like "The Handmaid's Tale" are your taste, head directly to streaming or cable. But if you're feeling the urge for milk-and-cookies comfort, broadcast television wants to help.The upcoming TV season will bring more sitcom nostalgia in the...

Met says it has evidence Levine abused or harassed 7 people

NEW YORK (AP) — The Metropolitan Opera said in court documents Friday that it found credible evidence that conductor James Levine engaged in sexually abusive or harassing conduct with seven people that included inappropriate touching and demands for sex acts over a 25-year period.The Met...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Small clubs cross fingers for World Cup windfalls

TORCY, France (AP) — The ideal scenario for the club where Paul Pogba played football as a kid might go...

On time, on target: LeBron, Cavs pound Celtics in Game 3

CLEVELAND (AP) — Before taking the floor, LeBron James stood in the hallway with his teammates outside...

US, China agree to cut American trade deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China have agreed to take measures to "substantially reduce"...

Insect ambassadors: Honeybees buzz on Berlin cathedral

BERLIN (AP) — On the roof of Berlin's cathedral, bees are buzzing.Beekeeper Uwe Marth pulls out a honeycomb...

Love and fire: Text of Michael Curry's royal wedding address

WINDSOR, England (AP) — And now in the name of our loving, liberating and life-giving God, Father, Son and...

Episcopal bishop Curry gives royal wedding an American flair

WINDSOR, England (AP) — Nothing quite captured the trans-Atlantic nature of Saturday's royal wedding as...

Seattle School District protest over rape case
By Lisa Loving | The Skanner News

The family of an unidentified Garfield High School rape victim has started a Facebook group called 'Stop Sexual Assault in High School,' which has posted images of protests at Seattle School District meetings such as the one above.

 

A two-year struggle for justice over a 15-year-old Garfield High School student’s alleged rape on an overnight school field trip has apparently ended with a $700,000 settlement for the teenaged girl and her family.

However the uproar over the incident – first reported by Al Jazeera but then picked up by national and local news outlets and blogs  – is unlikely to end anytime soon.

The U.S. Department of Education opened an investigation into the assault in August of this year, and judging by the Seattle School District’s public statement Wednesday, some of its new policies appear to be aimed at beefing up the district’s compliance with federal law.

Schools officials released the statement but at the same time signaled they would not be answering any questions about it.

“Please note, the school district will not be providing any interviews,” the statement said.

The proposed settlement with the girl’s family goes before the school board for approval on Oct. 15; district officials say the settlement must also be approved by a court-appointed official “who will assure the female student's rights are protected. “

Neither the girl nor the boy who admitted to school officials that he raped her have been identified; the facts of the assault have been reported widely and even school officials do not deny that the boy admitted anally raping the girl even though she repeatedly said “no.”

However the district’s position is that even though the girl reported the rape and was hospitalized, a subsequent District Attorney investigation was “inconclusive,” as was the district’s own investigation; the family disputes that and has publicly claimed the district selectively released public records that left out details of the police investigation’s conclusion.

“While the settlement does not hold the district liable for the incident, district officials do consider this a fair settlement that allows the district to focus its efforts on improving our processes to prevent and respond to incidents of sexual harassment, and provides funds for the student to pursue her education,” the district’s statement says.

“Since the incident, the district has focused on improving overnight field trip procedures and working to ensure compliance to the federal Title IX mandates, which cover response to sexual harassment.”

The victim’s parents say she went from being an academically successful student and gifted musician to being withdrawn and suicidal; she never returned to Garfield after the attack, but instead spent time in an inpatient mental health facility. She and her family have moved out of state.

The family has started a Facebook community called, “Stop Sexual Assault in High School.”  

“Our entire family was devastated when our family member was raped on a public high school field trip,” the Facebook community page says. “The Seattle School District’s failure to extend her federal Title IX rights, to acknowledge her report of sexual assault, and to treat her with basic human dignity has been life-scaring beyond description.

“We have relentlessly pursued accountability so that something positive for others may come from this tragedy.”

The boy received a 10-day suspension from school in 2012 but then returned to class as usual. Meanwhile, demonstrations have been held at Seattle School Board meetings calling for the resignation of Garfield Principal Ted Howard and a Change.org petition urging the district to fire him now has more than 2,400 signatures.

“I am a student at Garfield,” one petitioner writes. “My close friend was raped at a School Dance freshman year. Nothing was done in response to multiple reports.”

“As a former site administrator I am very concerned about this incident and how the school personnel handled it,” another petitioner writes. “The first duty of a school, more important than educating students, is to ensure that all students are safe. This was a failure.”

Another wrote: “STOP CODDLING VARSITY ATHLETES ALREADY!”

According to the district’s Wednesday statement:

“As a part of the mediated settlement, the parents have agreed not to pursue any monetary claims against the district, and to dismiss all of their pending actions in front of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the Office of Civil Rights, and anywhere else. They have also agreed not to pursue any new actions, or to file further public records requests with the district. They have also agreed not to communicate further with the district regarding this incident or subsequent response action, and to not publicly identify or complain about the male student accused of the assault.”

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