After reading the article entitled “OCR Adds to Title IX Probe,” published in last week’s TKS, members of SASS felt it was necessary to voice our strong support for the student who was brave enough to come forward about her traumatic experiences on this campus. Throughout our time here at Knox, we have heard stories, and likely some of us have directly experienced the mishandling of sexual assault cases on this campus. It is absolutely essential that we amplify and honor these stories.
Because of Kathleen’s case and many other mishandled cases, Knox administration should and must already know that we deserve more. Yet administrators have not answered students’ calls for change to a reformed system that does not cause pain and revictimization. We will help make our school better by demanding more from each other, the administration, the student body and the world.
There are many sexual assault awareness campaigns and events currently taking place on this campus, and it is crucial for us to make sure that we make it a priority to support survivors and victims, as well as prevent violence and abuse from happening in our community. We also need to show this college’s administration that the way they handle sexual assault cases is unacceptable and that we need knowledgeable, compassionate people in charge. Compliance with the OCR is not enough – we need to feel that our school is a place where our administrators feel that the prevention of sexual assault and the support for survivors/victims is a priority because they truly care, not just because they have to.
To Kathleen – we believe you. Your voice and story are real and valid, and do not need further elaboration. We do not need to know your name, nor the details of your experience. What happened to you was wrong regardless of what students and administrators say. The revictimization you experienced due to the actions and words of the Knox administration, campus safety officers and the grievance panel process is completely unacceptable and wrong. Your experience has inspired us to take action and reiterate to this institution that they are failing Knox students. Until this school is safe for all students, it is not truly ours. We hope that your experience inspires others, as it has inspired us, to reclaim our campus and make it clear that this kind of treatment from the administration and staff is not okay – not at our school.
#notmyschool #standwithKathleen #standwithsurvivors
The Members of SASS