I don’t think I’m being alarmist when I ask you all to talk to your teens and your younger relatives today. It’s Friday. All over kids will be telling their parents they are going to a movie, or sneaking out of the house, or lying about spending the night at a friend’s. It’s what teenagers do. It’s what I did. There’s nothing new about this. But now we have another suicide due to the fact a teen girl was sexually assaulted and the boys who did this to her took photographs of the attack and posted them on the internet.
From The Gilroy Patch:
Three teenage boys were arrested at school today in connection with the alleged sexual assault in Saratoga last fall of a 15-year-old girl who later committed suicide, a sheriff’s spokesman said.
Two of the boys were taken into custody this morning at Saratoga High School, and the third was arrested at Christopher High School in Gilroy, Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Kurtis Stenderup said.
All three were booked into Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall.
The boys, all age 16, were each arrested on suspicion of two counts of felony sexual battery and a misdemeanor — all related to the alleged assault, Stenderup said.
In early September of last year, 15-year old Audrie Pott attended a party at a friend’s house while her parents were out of town. The teens, between 8-10 of them at the party, drank hard liquor mixed with Gatorade. Audrie passed out and at least three male teens performed various sexual acts on her. Someone took at least one photo of the assault on Audrie, which was spread around via email and text before it was finally posted on Facebook. She wrote on her Facebook page:
The whole school knows…My life is ruined.
She never told her parents what had happened. She told one friend about the attack. Audrie was a soccer player, a gifted pianist, and was known for her kindness and sense of humor. Eight days after her assault, Audrie hung herself.
Her parents are seeking to sue about 10 people, including high school students and some parents, in connection with the assault. They also want Audrie’s name associated with legislation named after her that would seek to prevent cyber bullying.
This isn’t about me but it’s about me and every other girl who was young and stupid and who did young and stupid things as a teen and who should have had the worst fate she encountered at the end of the night be a terrible hangover and a strict grounding from her parents. I don’t know how to stop this. I don’t know how we stop boys from raping girls and posting the photos online. This has been happening far too often lately, and I’m sure there are many cases we still don’t know about. Because sex education is rarely taught in schools, rape education is never taught. I know as a parent I talk to my eldest son about these things and I will talk to my daughter about these things when she is older, even though I know my son is a smart, gentle kid who would never do anything like this, I talk to him about it anyway because I HAVE to. We all have to. I don’t know what else to say about this but my heart is broken.
Please talk to your kids. This is an emergency.
You can make a donation to the Audrie Pott Foundation providing Art and Music scholarships to Students in the San Francisco Bay Area by going here.