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School Hazing and Sexual Assault

July 13, 2010

Disclaimer

After a few months of growing frustration as a graduate of journalism, I found it vitally important I write this particular blog post.  It has actually been very hard to begin, and I’ve been working on it in what meager spare time I have to make sure I’d done plenty of research.  To be perfectly honest, I’m quite nervous, and even scared to post this, but I know it has to be done.  Part of the reason I know this is so important is because in all the media research I’ve conducted about this particular topic, I haven’t found one article to dispell or mention what I am about to dispell and mention. No names, no locations, and no situations have been changed or rearranged, because I wanted to present the facts as they are already in the news, and to allow anyone reading to fully grasp their own opinion on the situation.

The Story

The first experience in hearing about the Carmel High School basketball hazing case was during a bus ride to a show choir competition from the parking lot of the Lawrence Central High School.  I’d heard from the front of the bus of the “horrible incidents that happened”.  My boyfriend decided to ask what was so horrible since he is a school teacher as well (the women in front were also teachers, one actually from Carmel HS), and no one wanted to talk about it. We were told, “Watch the news tonight, it’s everywhere.”

After watching the first news segment, it seemed a little hazy to me. (No pun intended.)  I felt like I got more information after reading the comments on WTHR’s website below the written version of the story. I was appalled by the acts I read about and prayed for the victims. I thought that maybe the news had chosen to air a “lighter” version of the story, and that the suspects would be rightfully punished and evidence found.

Boy, was I wrong.

As more reports came out, about new incidents and other kids being assaulted, but later the reports came out of the new police report that had been previously censored.  In that story, the police report details a separate incident which was then listed as an “Adult Sex Crime” and a “Attempted Sexual Assault”, although the new cases involving the bus ride were not considered as such. My confusion lies in the cover-up of the original document because of it’s ‘vulgarity’ and ‘inappropriate nature’ for the press.  At first, I didn’t think too much of it, until the updates about the first trial, and the allegations against the accused.

But then the charges were released, and that is when my anger regarding this case completely overwhelmed me.  These four seniors were charged with Class A misdemeanors.  Most college students arrested for drunk driving charges receive the same charge.  Day after day, I continued to read the comments of Carmel citizens enraged that no one was calling the crime what it really was.  Sexual assault is a felony.

The most disrupting news of this entire case is the gag order that was set to take place on July 9th.  The victims have been asked (and now ordered by court law) to refrain from commenting about the case, because the evidence doesn’t support the claim.  One of the victim’s attorney’s said it was like his client “was being victimized all over again.”  Even the journalist writes, “The case has attracted attention because one boy claims he was physically violated, but the charges against the defendants don’t reflect that.”

While I understand that its necessary for a fair trial, I can’t help but wonder if Carmel would be having this conversation if the victims were women, instead of men.  I also can’t help but wonder if this conversation Carmel is having is to protect the suspect’s potential basketball career–which by the look of this article, even collegiate acceptance is unlikely.

It looks like to me there is a huge cover-up going on here and that’s the most infuriating part. Since when did society side with the suspects because they are “young and impressionable”.  I understand they have a future as well, and it’s done to protect the alleged.  The statement ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ has to be upheld, but what kind of future will those victims have if their attackers are left with little to no consequence?  While that’s wonderful that we care about our young folk, why is the well-being of the alleged all I hear about? What happened to the well-being and future of those victims? The courts can place a gag order on as many people as they’d like, but those victims will remember what happened until the day they die.

It sure seems like these kids are just going to get away with what they’ve done, with nothing more than a year or two of probation, and and 70 or so hours of community service hours at the local animal shelter.

All I have to say is, kids who kill animals are slated to be murderers later in life — children who are sexually abused/children who have sexually abused others are often slated to be rapists later in life.   The psychological studies don’t lie.  Why is this case any different?

The moral of the Carmel High School Basketball scandal story all boils down to lying. Lying is never good, appropriate, and only ends up hurting everyone involved. The courts need to call this what it is.  It’s not drunk driving, it’s not a bad Saturday night, it’s not brotherly initiation,  and most certainly is not sports related hazing.  This is adult sexual assault, with multiple assailants and victims.  Lying will never get anyone anywhere, and only angers everyone involved.

If you need me, I’ll be praying for those victims.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2010 3:48 pm

    Kudos to you and this post! 🙂

  2. July 13, 2010 3:52 pm

    I mean, it took me long enough!

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