04 May 2011

god damn everything texas

minor plaintiff in east texas ordered to pay $45 thousand in court costs after supreme court refuses to hear her appeal of a court decision that her school district was justified in dismissing her from the cheerleading squad after she refused to chant the name of her rapist at a basketball game.

this. this is why i get so fucking angry when people accuse me of looking for things to be offended about, as though i have to fucking look.

i'm seriously. i am shaking with anger over this.

the court's decision rests on the principle that by voluntarily participating in an activity in which she serves as a mouthpiece for the school, the girl voluntarily ceded her first amendment right not to cheer on a basketball player who was convicted of sexually assaulting her.

a friend pointed out that in isolation, there wouldn't be a problem with this principle; the girl has the right to free expression, but the school likewise has the right to choose who they want to represent them. but the thing is, that's only applicable in isolation. what, for instance, do you think the court would have decided if she'd been dismissed over her right to pray? or for her right to engage in political speech out of uniform?

it's east texas, y'all. i guarantee you that if the problem had been her wearing a cross or demonstrating in front of planned parenthood, she wouldn't have had to sue the district. she wouldn't have had anything to sue over, because the district probably would have fired the coach.

fuck double standards, fuck the supreme court for letting this stand, and fuck east texas.

her rapist gets the rape charge conveniently dropped so that he is still eligible to play, and she gets punished for refusing to adhere to the fiction. once again, apparently it's worse to stand up to rape apologism than it is to actually, y'know, rape someone.

and to think that people ask me what i mean when i start going on about rape culture.

i'm trying to find out everything i can about this case -- here is the appeal that SCOTUS declined to hear, and here is a link to onpoint's reporting on the case, with links to many of the documents. having a best friend who is an attorney = great

fun fact: apparently after she was raped, the survivor petitioned for and received an injunction against her rapists which required their removal from the school. the DA apparently let this injunction lapse so that bolton could play basketball.

In fact, SISD weighed its basketball program’s and
Bolton’s interests against H.S.’ welfare and psychological interests, and during the week of February 16, 2009, gave greater weight to its basketball program and Bolton, and added Bolton to the High School’s Varsity Basketball team, where H.S. as the cheerleader would be forced to interact and cheer for the five man team including her rapist.

funner fact: there's this.

On February 17, 2009, C.S. and his plaintiff’s attorney met with Sup’t. Bain and when asking about the forced exposure of H.S. to Bolton and Rountree, were told by Bain that he and his lawyer considered there to be two sides to the rape, and that Bain was not going to take any action to insulate H.S. from Rountree and Bolton.

if you would like to register your displeasure, since setting the superintendent and district counsel on fire is not an option, here is the contact information for silsbee independent school district and for the firm that represented the district in court. i called both of them this morning just trying to verify the facts reported in the independent and got stonewalled, but i feel like making the calls was important.

silsbee ISD
richard bain, superintendent
415 hwy 327 west
silsbee, tx 77656

telephone 409.980.7897 (press 4 for administration)

wells peyton greenberg & hunt, LLP
century tower, 550 fannin, ste 600
p.o. box 3708
beaumont, tx 77704

tanner t. hunt, jr. (attorney representing the district)
telephone 409.838.2644

please call. we might not be able to obtain justice for this girl, but at least we can let them know that this shit is not acceptable, and it's not going to fly.

now if you'll excuse me, i'm going to call the girl's attorney and find out if there's a fund for her to help her pay the settlement. i don't want my money going to the fuckers at SISD, but i want this girl's family to be financially ruined because of her courage even less. (laurence w. watts, 281.431.1500)

1 comment:

Mark said...

So, I would take a step back here and say this (without condoning any actions by the person convicted of sexual assault.)

At what point did it become a right to be on any High School team/organization. Most school teams have a limited amount of slots. Therefore, the organization has to formally or informally create a list of qualifications. The most well qualified students are then given the “privilege” to represent the school in their organization.

At no point was this girl required to be a cheerleader. It is nearly by definition a privilege to represent one's school in any official capacity. That privilege can be withdrawn at anytime for any reason unless specifically stated otherwise in law (anti discrimination laws, etc.)

Just because the state system did not give the result one would have liked, does not mean that the federal government needs to step in. If the people in the area are dissatisfied with how things worked out then they can vote for a new Mayor, D.A. State Judges, etc…

But if one really did want Uncle Sam to step in then, there would have to be constitutional issue here. I’m not sure I see it. Without actually being a lawyer, I’m willing to bet there is not much case law regarding a student being unable to participate in an official school sanctioned activity because of a non-discrimination type behavior. (She was not dismissed based on race, religion, sex…etc which anti-discrimination laws protect.) If you would like something like this situation to be covered under these anti-discrimination laws, then call your congressman and work through them. The Supreme Court cannot “legislate from the bench.” (And with rare exception this is a fairly true statement.)

Additionally, the Supreme Court, being the conservative institution it is, does not usually make sweeping decisions that would, as you pointed out, have all kinds of effects on school prayer and other hot bed issues. There needs to be well established case law that is clearly violating the constitution in a very specific, narrow way. That’s when it is time to call in big guns.

For my two cents, a rash decision by Supreme Court, to get involved in a county matter (however poorly it was handled) is like calling in a nuclear strike on pit of snakes. Yeah, the snakes are bad, but the fall out from a rash Supreme Court decision that would open the door to many other things, could be far worse. Since those people have been doing their job for a while, I’m going to bet they thought it through and realized that however unfortunate the particular situation is, they can't get involved, because of intended and unintended consequences. And I know that would frustrate the hell out of me and keep me up at night...