Appeals Court Declares Negligence In School’s “Rape Bait” Scheme

In 2010, a 14-year-old girl was used by her school as “rape bait” in a scheme to catch a fellow student who was widely rumored to be a sexual predator, was forcibly sodomized in the attempt, and is only now seeing any kind of justice.

An appeals court in Alabama decided yesterday that administrators at the school in question, Sparkman Middle School, had shown “deliberate indifference” to the allegations that a teacher’s aide had hatched the plan to use the girl as bait, leading to her rape. The girl and her family said that administrators knew of the boy’s prior sexual violence and failed to supervise him adequately. The appeals court ruling overturns a 2013 ruling by a district court in the school’s favor.

The appeals court ruled that their negligence put the school in violation of Title IX, a federal law that addresses gender discrimination in schools. The judge said that the school failed to “acknowledge the rape” and “respond to [the girl’s] traumatic injury.” The school board furthermore canceled a one-day sexual harassment training course for administrators, which the judge said demonstrated their callousness toward the girl.

The teacher’s aide who was involved in creating the scheme quit, and the boy was never charged with anything. Meanwhile, the administrator who allegedly knew about the “rape bait” plan has been promoted, and two other administrators who were involved have kept their jobs. The victim, who is now college-aged, wants the case to go in front of a jury, and the appeals court’s decision has brought her closer to that goal.


[Image via WHMT]

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