October 23rd, 2006



Today's installment in lotr_bookclub will return tomorrow while we make this public service announcement.

I have a friend who has a daughter. Both friend and daughter will remain nameless but I have reason to believe she will read this, and she needs to hear it. Her daughter has been sexually abused by a girl at her school - an older student who has lured the daughter on serveral occasions into a bathroom and played out the abuse that we can only assume she (the older girl) is suffering at home.

Appropriately, the school was notified. Shockingly, the school's response was that the younger girl, my friend's daughter - was at fault because it had happened several times, and she had not immediately reported it. They decided this meant that an eight year old girl was "sexually curious" and therefore complicit in the sex-acts. I find this criminally outrageous. The school is essentially denying that any abuse occurred - I can only assume becuase it will prevent a public scandal. But who is served here? Not my friend's daughter, who, I reiterate is eight years old and clearly NOT sexually curious. The girl is, entirely appropriately, very actively interested in completely childlike things. She is certainly not helped by being told she's at fault. Is the older girl, the abuser, served by secrecy? No, clearly not - she's almost certainly being abused at home - and by sweeping this under the carpet, the abuse is more likely to continue.

Only the administration has anything to gain by keeping these things a secret. That is not acceptable, decent, moral, permissible, legal, or ethical. In my opinion, the administrators responsible should be at least fired if not sued, and then only if they are not shot. At the very least, angry badgers should be put in their pants, while men in luchadore masks slap them with cricket-bats and shout, "Keep THAT secret in your pants, you heartless fuckers!" The administration should be held accountable for this probably criminal lapse in stewardship of children. Both girls should be given copious counselling - the older girl probably removed from her home, too, if that is where she is being abused. And both girls should be separated, meaning one of them will have to transfer schools; presumably the abuser. This should happen immediately, and not at some point in the vague future.

The problem is - my friend is feeling like maybe she's wrong, and maybe it's just easier to wait until she can get her daughter moved to another school and make no other fuss. I want her to know my opinion on this in no uncertain terms - and I encourage you, dear reader, to chime in so she will know she is not alone. Making no fuss simply creates an environment in which sexual abuse of children can continue. It will also teach her daughter the lesson that when someone does something like that, there's no sense reporting it, becuase she will be blamed anyway - and nothing will change. This girl, the daughter - is bright, precocious, full of energy, and very outgoing. If it is necessary to shake the pillars of heaven to preserve her innocence, then so should those pillars be shook. She has done nothing wrong - the people that have need to be punished severely or counselled with compassion, as appropriate. Hint: no one in this over the age of 12 needs counselling. Just a serious curb-stomping.
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Finished Product!

Originally uploaded by opswonk.
Here are the pumpkins from the party - from left to right - mine, Franco's, Erin's, Rob's. More people were there, but only four chose to dismember some pumpkins.

There are lots more pictures posted here by Franco - who has an amazing camera and a great eye.