05-20-2018  4:59 am      •     
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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

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Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

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Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

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

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US arrest, raids in Seattle pot probe with China ties

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State sees need to reduce elk damage in the Skagit Valley

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Famed mini sub's control room to become future exhibit

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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 ...


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

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First class for Mississippi school after desegregation deal

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

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

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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...


Small clubs cross fingers for World Cup windfalls

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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

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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.”


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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