Zimmerman School principal allegedly let accused rapist remain in class, threatens victims
Students from a school located in Zimmerman, Minnesota, claim that rape victims are being compelled to attend the same school as the accused attacker. Principal Marco Voce let a boy suspected of sexually assaulting two classmates stay in class. Last Friday, on November 5, students at Zimmerman Middle/High School held a walkout to express their dissatisfaction. When they were planning the walkout, the school administration wrote a letter warning the protesting students that they could face disciplinary action if they broke "district regulations."
In the letter, the principal warned the students about the consequences for participating in the protest. "ISD 728 does not condone, support, or sponsor student walkouts," Voce said in his letter. "… students who participate in a walkout that violates any ISD 728 policy, which includes any type of bullying, harassment, discrimination etc., may receive significant discipline which could include out of school suspension." However, the letter failed to stop the dissenting students from walking out of class last Friday holding signs with messages such as: ‘ISD 728 how would you like to be in class with your rapist?’
Cassie Bonine, whose daughter attends the high school, attended the board meeting of Independent School District 728 on Monday night in the hopes of addressing questions but was disappointed to hear that none would be answered. She inquired as to why Voce had not reacted to an email she had sent about the sexual assault five days prior.
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After the meeting, she went to the bathroom and showed the principal the email on her phone. She clarified, "I then asked him if he had children. He said he had two daughters," she said. "And I asked him what if it were your daughters? How would you feel in this situation?" A trespass order was issued to a parent who contacted the principal outside the meeting, barring her from appearing on school premises for a year. The notice says: "The trespass notice is given due to your verbal altercation with principal Marco Voce, which you instigated, was witnessed by others and was acknowledged on social media and was considered to be aggressive, intimidating and inappropriate." Bonine agreed she raised her voice but said she was neither confrontational nor threatening in any way. She stated that she is currently seeking to get her daughter transferred to a new school district.
School districts have been under fire of late for trying to cover up sexual assault and harrassment cases. A 15-year-old girl from Charlotte, North Carolina was suspended from high school after she accused a male classmate of sexually assaulting her, and was further told to take a class called "sexual harassment is preventable." The unidentified Hawthorne Academy High School student then reached out to the local media station about how she was being harassed nearly every day by her male classmate.
In October, Loudon County in Virginia was sued by the parents of a girl who was allegedly raped by a 'skirt-wearing male student' in a 'gender fluid' school bathroom. According to the parents, the district sought to conceal the alleged attack. Their lawyer said his firm intends to pursue federal Title IX actions against the local government and "all officials who are responsible for allowing this harm."