Students leave class to protest handling of alleged rape cases
Hundreds of students at an Oklahoma high school walked out of their classes Monday to protest the school’s alleged mishandling of bullying directed toward three teenage rape victims, and the Twitter hashtag is bringing national attention to their efforts.
The #YesAllDaughters campaign—inspired by this spring’s viral #YesAllWomen movement—took flight after three teenage girls told administrators that they were all raped by the same classmate at Norman High School. (Jezebel published audio of the alleged perpetrator describing one of the assaults.)
Although the alleged assailant was quickly suspended for the school year and is under police investigation, the three victims say the school did not take proper action to stop bullying that followed. One victim was suspended after hitting a boy with her bag after he told her “I hear you love being raped,” Jezebel reports.
The school said in a letter last week that it “advocates for the safety” of its students and hasn’t “and would never discipline a victim for being a victim.”
All three victims have reportedly left the school by choice due to bullying.
Student activists created the #YesAllDaughters Facebook page to list demands and organize the walkout.
“The idea is that it could be anyone’s daughter, that these girls are all our daughters,” student organizer Danielle Brown’s aunt, Stacey Wright, said at a news conference.
The hashtag has resonated with a national audience.
Although schools superintendent Joe Siano sent a letter home urging parents to encourage their children not to walk out of class but rather “wear stickers and ribbons in support of victims of sexual assault and bullying” during class, the school reports that 639 out of 1,992 students were absent from their first period class.