Girl Raped, Beaten, Photographed Outside Homecoming Dance: What Are We Teaching Our Children?
Homecoming is usually one of those rare occasions in a young girl's life when she gets to dress as a princess and attend the ball, in her high school gym made over for the occasion. It is a natural part of high school like math class, and football games.
For one young girl in California the dream of being a princess for the night turned into a living nightmare upon leaving the school.
Raped, beaten and dehumanized for 21/2 hours by a group of young men and school age boys while a group of about two dozen looked on and took photographs, laughing and applauding the “show.”
Police have started to make arrests, declaring that they plan to not only bring those who committed this horrible act to justice, but the onlookers who did nothing as well.
Meanwhile, other students are blaming the police and school personnel for not doing more to protect this student while she was on school property. While the dance was well-monitored, the school yard was not.
Questions are being raised about how almost 30 people could gather, to violently rape a young girl with no adult in attendance being aware that something was going on. How could they not have monitored outside the school as well as inside?
While I believe these questions need to be answered and that those who were charged with keeping safety at this dance should and must be held accountable for happened there, I am even more shocked about the question that no one is asking.
What about the parents of these children who took part in this rape? What about the parents whose children looked on and did nothing to help their classmate? What kinds of messages have they been sending their children that not one of the children who used their cell phone to take a picture of the rape used it to call 9-11?
In a world where our schools are no longer safe, it should be the job, the duty of every parent to teach their child not only about being safe but in helping keep others safe. Every parent should impress upon their child that violence of any kind is wrong, and it is our moral obligation to report such crimes.
Obviously these 30 or so parents have failed in that duty. I find myself wondering how they are sleeping at night.
Yes, we can blame the police, the school officials, and anyone else we please, but in the final analysis, it is up to us as parents to teach our children the difference between right and wrong. To teach them compassion for others, and about civic and moral responsibility.
We can't send our children to social functions leaving them with the message that it is okay to perpetrate such crimes against others. We must not send them out in the world believing that it is okay to watch while someone is brutally raped and do nothing.
No one expects a child to put their own physical well being in jeopardy, but when armed with a cell phone used to take pictures with instead of call for help, we must ask ourselves, what are we teaching our children?