My Body My Rights

Melissa Reyes, Staff Writer

     Sexual assault at school happens a lot more than we can expect, in any shape and form. Although schools might not be able to get rid of all the sexual assault and harassment that happens on campus, but there are so many resources, teachers, and staff that students can talk to if something were to ever occur. 

     Ridgeview High school’s social worker, Ivan Gonzalez, had a couple words to say about the resources and staff students could speak with  to receive help for anything they may be struggling with. “In our website students could find it (the link to helpful tools for victims or complaints), I think one of the most helpful tools and resources is the support and behaviors team that we have here which includes the interventionist, myself, and the deans.” 

    Our school should be considered a safe place for everyone regardless of what makes your personality unique and only yours. Gonzalez states,

“If any event were to come up regarding a student being sexually harassed or assaulted we would take effective matter to ensure the safety of that student because we want the student to feel safe around our campus.”

— Ivan Gonzalez

Coming to an adult and talking about your experience can be very scary and you might even back out of doing it, but some of your fellow classmates have bravely come out with their stories and hope you also can come forward. 

Jaidyn Greenlee states, “He smacked my behind and then I was too scared to say anything cuz I didn’t know if it was on accident or on purpose but it felt like it was on purpose cuz it was hard and so I kind of just ignored it and sat down”. 

The procedures for a sexual assault complaint include the student behaviors team revising the complaint, they will then compile the evidence and give a report to the admin, the principal, and the vice principal. From there the student will give their side of the story as well as the harasser and the proper consequence will come shortly after. Sexual assault isn’t just unwanted touching of private areas, it’s unwanted name-calling, looking at someone in a weird way, or even sexualizing clothing. Your fellow student, Shelsey Meglar Pineda says, “Just other people talking about other people’s bodies, it’s weird and it makes me feel very uncomfortable when people do it.” 

Some students are upset that nothing is being done to those who have been accused of sexual harassment or assault of any kind. Here’s what student Pineda had to say, “It’s disgusting because the school doesn’t do anything about it or I haven’t seen the school do anything about it so it keeps on happening and other people are like ‘oh you know I don’t see such a big deal because nothing happens anyways’ so people keep doing it because there’s no consequence for the people who do it and it’s disgusting cause we have to fight for our own selves at this point.” Students who were attacked were left wondering why of all people. Jaidyn Greenlee states, “I kind of went home and I was evaluating everything, well I wasn’t in super short shorts, my shoulders weren’t showing, it was nothing provocative, I was wearing a normal Ridgeview t-shirt and some shorts cuz it was hot” 

You shouldn’t feel alone in these types of situations, there are so many different resources and people for you to talk to, not just the interventionist, the social worker, the deans, or anyone on the support and behaviors team, it could be your most trusted teacher, security guard, counselor, office worker, just someone who you trust and feel comfortable with to help you get started your healing journey.