Who else is absolutely sickened by the news continuing to come out of Richmond? And for me, as a parent of a high school student, it is not just the horrific nature of the crime, and the bystanders who did nothing.... it is the school that is worrying me too.
From the CNN article ,
She had come alone to the Richmond High School homecoming dance, gorgeous in a sparkling purple dress and faux diamond baubles. The DJ played salsa, meringue, rap. When the teenager disappeared, her friends thought she had gone home early.
But we all know now, she didn't go home early, she was outside, ON SCHOOL GROUNDS being brutally beaten and raped for over 2 hours. I won't even go into all the nuances of the case as I've learned them, as you all have probably read the stories and heard the news too. But what scares me is the question, SHOULDN'T WE BE ABLE TO COUNT ON OUR CHILDREN BEING SAFE AT A SCHOOL EVENT?
What happened to the days when once you checked into a dance you could not leave. What happened to student safety being #1 priority. Why is it now being noted that there were chaperones, at least one asst principal and security officers there and not one was patrolling the grounds? It is also noted that strangers (non students) were seen on campus and as quoted from one of the victim's friends, "I looked outside of the gym and I saw 12 to 15 guys, sitting there, with no IDs," Baker said at the hearing. "The officers -- not only did they not check the IDs of those students or men sitting outside of of our campus, but the security officers who are employed here did no ... checking either. The assistant principal looked outside and actually saw those men, and did nothing about it."
In addition, how could it be ok that a school board member was seen on the news a few days ago acknowledging that school security cameras do not work? Yes, it's a big campus as he said, but you have security officers, chaperones, and school personnel and no one is monitoring the grounds during a big dance? In an area known for drugs, gangs and crime - no one is watching what is going on, or as stated above, questioning those who do not belong?
And unfortunately, this brings up so many other larger questions, like WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE that not only allow a crime like this to be committed, but who seemingly turned a blind eye to the signs something was amiss (strangers/non students on campus).
Could this happen here? How are our dances monitored? Are kids allowed to come and go? Do they allow non students on campus? Is there security or school personnel patrolling?
What about the unthinkable moral trainwreck? Could kids in our own schools just stand and watch something like this happen and do nothing? Could kids in our own schools do such a thing? I want to think no way. But ?? Why is Richmond different? What was the "perfect storm" that made this happen there, on that night, to that girl?
This was a school sponsored event. And as a parent , it makes me angry. Maybe I'll make some of you angry with my opinions here, but I think that school , the school officials, security and the district needs to be held accountable for doing nothing to prevent an unsafe environment for children. Children who just wanted to fit in, go to a dance, have fun, hang with their friends. There is no excuse. School officials didn't make this happen, but did they do enough to prevent it? I say no based on the information I have now... your thoughts?
Prayers go out to this girl , her friends and her family. I hope for speedy recovery and that she can rise above this horror. I can't even imagine..... it's too hard to even wrap my brain around all this....