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Headliners

By , San Marino, CA

Article:  San Marino High School #1 District in California
Article: San Marino High School Ranks Top 1 in State Testing
Article: San Marino High School Student Files Lawsuit: Admins Indifferent About Her Rape
Article: San Marino High School Named One of the Best Public Schools in California

One of the articles was different from the other.
Did you spot it?
No?

Let me repeat it for you:

Article: San Marino High School Student Files Lawsuit: Admins Indifferent About Her Rape

But it’s okay
It’s not your fault you didn’t spot the article immediately

Sometimes we overlook those  who wave red flags burned with the words “HELP ME”
Sometimes we ignore screams and cries so that we could have a good night’s rest
Sometimes we are more concerned about the murderer’s future instead of the life of the victim

When this news was published online, the San Marino School District attempted to bury it under layers of empty articles

Hoping that people would notice the grass stains on the football jersey before the blood stains on the trophy wife
The Stanford Acceptance Letter before the unconscious girl behind the dumpster
Hoping that a cold face will be forgotten after it has been buried six feet under

October 2011: Her boyfriend, a debate team superstar, forced her to have sex with him on multiple occasions.
Using his rhetoric to pry her open
Arguing that it’s okay if she didn’t want to because he did

Debate team superstars will do anything to get the grand prize


November 2012: she escapes.
419 days of trauma
419 days of tardies
419 days of ditching classes
Forcing her to withdraw from the debate team

She too was a debate team superstar,
but she knew this was a topic she could not seem to battle any longer

March 2013: She tells her teacher what happened.
It takes her 98 days to recollect the pain

“Honey, you were raped,” her teacher says

98 days: her naked kneecaps rattle as much as they did when he cornered her against the wall, slipping off her skirt
98 days ago, she didn’t even think about the word rape
98 days ago, she thought that this is what love was supposed to be like

The teacher encouraged her to talk about it with her friends: “The police won’t believe you” the  teacher says, showing articles to support her position

Brock Turner: Stanford Student rapes unconscious woman behind dumpster; 6 months jail time,
Shelley Dufresne and Rachel Respess: Two teachers force 14-year-old male student into a three-some; 90-day mental health facility, not required to register as a sex offender
Robert H. Richards IV: heir to DuPont fortune rapes 3-year-old daughter; no prison time

Nobody listens to victims anyway.

School psychologists, teachers and counselors told her the following:

“there are nicer guys out there”
“School is difficult, there are lots of kids in school struggling”
“It’s a tough breakup that would merely take time and distance to heal”


1. Do you define nicer guys as boys who aren't rapists? Because I call that being a decent f***ing human being.

2. thank you for letting me know that there are a lot of kids struggling with maintaining their 4.3 GPA, it’s not like I suffered trauma and got my basic human dignity taken away or some s***.

3. If you think time and distance can heal wounds that have burned past the core of the bone, then I think YOU’RE the one who needs a Psychologist.

4. You cannot put a band-aid on a bleeding brain and expect it to get better.

Why do people neglect to understand that we can’t just keep telling our children that their body is a temple that is not theirs to own.

Baby, your body is a temple and you are the God that it worships

March 2013: rumors sprinkle around the school, and pile up in thick dense layers.
The predator is confronted and says that she is lying and is “Mentally Unstable”


Two words seemed to justify the “wild allegations” she was throwing in the air

Because mental instability is always a winning argument for a debate superstar

The layers grow thicker and thicker until she becomes the only one who suffocates from it

Students told her the following:

“If it was non-consensual why did you keep coming back?”

Don’t you know? Sometimes we continue to approach a slaughterhouse because it is the only home we have grown to know

“You’re lying. He could not have done it, he is like a brother to me”

Yeah, and he was her boyfriend.

Don’t you know that your rapist is more likely to be a familiar face in the household rather than a bearded man who lives in the forest?

Don’t you know that we aren’t always what we appear to be?

I want to end this poem with a hopeful ray of light about the girl from San Marino High School who won her case against her rapist.

But the reality is that it doesn't end this way.

The reality is that hardly any case ends this way.

The reality is that an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds, and only 8% are prosecuted.
The reality is that  people will continue to ignore the girl who cried rape
and laugh at the boy who cried rape
The reality is that people will blame a victim’s lack of responsibility for their own bodies as if the world had given them control over it in the first place.

The reality is that we tend to believe in things that mirror our own person, so maybe that’s why so many people save the predator and kick the victim

She asked me once
If she did win this case
would it be able to heal her wounds?
If she did win this case
would that mean the next 100 rapists will be prosecuted too?

You see, I want to end this poem with a hopeful ray of light about the girl from San Marino High School who won her case against her rapist and stopped all other rapists

But the reality is: No.

Because the fact that a school psychologist’s best advice to a rape victim is to find nicer boys who don't rape
The fact that a rapist blames the victim for being raped
The fact that people blame the victim for being raped
The fact that a district pretends that her rape didn’t even exist

Is the reason why rape culture exists

This poem is not just about the girl from San Marino who cried rape and failed.
It's about all victims who cried rape and failed
And the audacity of our culture to normalize it.

So, the final question is: what are you going to do to change it?






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