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DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY

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Based on a true story...

A 13-year-old girl was almost gang-raped by a gang of six schoolboys during lunch break at her school. The boys were trying to take off her school uniform and touch her body while one of them filmed the scene on his mobile phone. This story is based upon an actual event that happened at a school in an undisclosed location. Upon further investigation, it’s been found that this type of tragically disturbing incident happens at schools all around the world, but often goes unreported for various reasons……most of which are unacceptable! Luckily a group of five young girls, who happened to be passing by, heard the young girl crying for help and rushed to her rescue. One of the girls even had enough presence of mind to use her mobile phone to video the incident, so it could be used as evidence against the boys. However, upon showing the clip to their teachers, they were discouraged from pursuing the matter for fear of “bringing shame” to the school. In a half-hearted response, the boys were caned twice, and the girls instructed to tell no one about what happened. But the young victim was not satisfied with the school’s response. She was humiliated and didn’t want to go back to school. Finally she broke down and told her parents. They were furious and immediately decided to take the case to the police. They also publicized the incident at a parents’ meeting, warning everyone that they needed to do more to protect their children, even at school. Finally, the victim, against the instructions of her teachers, came forward to tell her story, so that other students might learn from her experience.

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DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY


During the lunch break at a normally peaceful school in North East Chandong province, an unexpected and very troubling story is about to unfold.

No! Stop! Hey guys, hold her still while I start to shoot!

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Unbelievable that such a terrible and tragic story can happen in what should be one of the safest places for children….. a school!

The innocent girl being attacked is scared to death! She hadn’t done anything wrong, but here she is; a victim of sexual assault!

It’s shocking enough that schoolboys would commit such a crime in the first place…but to do it at school is shocking!

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DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY

Simply because she decided to take her lunch break alone in an empty classroom because she wanted to be alone to read and relax!


Help!!!

Hey, what’s going on?? Sounds like someone’s in trouble in that classroom over there!!

Let’s check it out… Sounds like they’re in big trouble!!

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Hey, what’re you guys doing!!

Stop it NOW!! !!

!!? Shut up! Get outta here, and mind your own business, or you’ll be next!! 104

DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY


We’re not going anywhere, and I’ve got everything on a video, so you’re the ones who should be afraid! So, stop it now you goons!

The boys, realizing that they were in a no-win situation, finally come to their collective senses; and finally stop their assault! Later... at the Principal’s office

Rest assured girls…

I’ll punish the boys. Are you alright? Did they physically hurt you?

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Yes, I guess I’m OK physically??

I think they were just playing around,

you know, boy’s stuff.

That’s good…. since you’re not hurt physically, we should just put this all behind us... that would better for everyone concerned!

I really don’t think they meant any real harm. They’re still just little boys, not grown men.

I suggest that you don’t tell anyone about this, or you might damage your reputation …we wouldn’t want that now, would we? You have such a bright future ahead of you, and there’s no sense having this ugly incident on your record.

Trust me dear, this is the best way to handle this kind of thing...okay?

Anyway, I’ve already punished them, and I can assure you that this will never happen again! 106

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Just think about it... if anyone finds out, our school’s reputation will be tarnished, and you don’t want that to happen, do you my dear? Don’t make such a big deal out of a childish little prank!

Do you understand me?

Yes... I do.

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Unable to understand why the boys had done this to her, wondering if it was it her fault, the boys fault, her school Supervisor’s fault for telling her to stay quiet about the incident, or the school’s fault for not protecting her, or what??? Without professional counseling, she was understandably unable to come to terms with what had happened to her, she was in turmoil! The young school girl may not have been apparently harmed physically, but mentally and emotionally she was a wreck! She decided that there was only one thing to do.... against the advice of her school’s Supervisor and regardless of what the consequences may be....talk to her parents! Whatever the outcome....It couldn’t be worse than what she was already going through! 108

Upon hearing what had happened to their little girl, the parents immediately went to the school to demand some answers!

What do you mean telling my little girl to keep quiet? Explain this to me... Now!

Urmm… Well… She’s really wasn’t physically harmed... was she?

DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY


NOT HARMED!!! You call her nearly being raped not harmed?!!

My daughter is an emotional wreck! This was not some childish schoolboy prank here…this is very serious, and must be and will be addressed!

No more compromises, and no more excuses!!

I’m going to the police and see these criminals sent to jail, so they won’t do it to anyone else!

Historically, schools are very safe places for our children; but even in the best run, most highly disciplined schools, unfortunate and tragic incidents, as highlighted in our story, continue to occur. If the administration cares more about the school’s reputation than the victim, attempting to minimize the incidents, or cover to them up, it’s only perpetuating the problem. Doing so will undoubtedly lead to greater consequences down the road! Without severe consequences, these young perpetrators feel empowered to continue their unacceptable behavior, escalating their crimes until someone finally stops them. Taking legal action by filing a criminal complaint with the authorities may, or may not, be easy for the victim, but neither is keeping quiet and doing nothing! At a minimum, the mere threat of civil or criminal prosecution will force schools to take a much more proactive stance. Such as adopting a “A Student Code of Conduct”, with a “zero-tolerance” policy against the perpetrators of these types of violent crimes. In addition teachers should be trained to recognize this type of behavior at its earliest stages, before anyone gets hurt. In the event prevention fails, counseling centers should be trained to deal with both victims and as well as perpetrators. Violence in schools, whether of a sexual nature or not, is wrong and cannot be condoned! Schools, whether they like it or not, have become the first line of defense against inappropriate behavior. They must do more to prevent students from becoming either victims or perpetrators, of violence. Education is their best weapon for accomplishing this! DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY 109


I think you need to go back to school and learn more about online and offline safety, and how to better protect your students; and I have the perfect way for you to do it!

Go to www. leapsmartandwin.com and you can find out lots of great information about online and offline safety! They even have a 24/7 hotline to report incidents like has happened And they also provide what to my daughter…. live assistance to help you know how to handle these and other safety concerns when they occur!

I admit that I don’t know as much as I should about online and offline safety, but where can I learn more?

Sounds like we’ve all learned something here through this sad incident, and I’m sure that you will do your best to make things right for my daughter;

I realize that I handled this situation with your daughter very badly, and I will immediately go to

www.leapsmartandwin.com

They even have a great online-offline safety contest that you can register to win!

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and to prevent it from happening again in the future to any other student!

and learn much much more about online and offline safety issues; so we can prevent and handle these types of situation much better in the future! I will also register to enter the exciting onlineoffline safety contest that they have... and if I win, I will donate the money back into an onlineoffline safety program for our school!

DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY


Inappropriate conduct or contact has no place in any civilized society,… especially in our schools! The story that you just read was based upon a real incident and incidents of this nature that occur much too often in schools around the world…one such incident is one too many! Although the vast majority of schools have strictly enforced clear cut “Code of Conduct” policies, many still do not or they do not strictly enforce the policies that they have in place. All students, no matter of their race-creed-color-gender-social-economic statusreligion-culture-physical appearance-physical or mental challenges and or learning disabilities or limitations, have equal rights that must be protected and respected and it’s the responsibility of our school administrators and teachers to ensure that this happens. Students also must do their part to stay safe. RESPECT - RESPONSIBILITY - RIGHTS RESPECT: At any school, all students should demonstrate respect for the person and property of ourselves and others RESPONSIBILITY: At any school, except in extenuating circumstances, each and every student should accept responsibility for their own behavior RIGHTS: At any school, each student has the right to be treated with dignity and the opportunity to learn to the best of their ability School Rules: Consequences for Inappropriate Behavior SCHOOL RULES LEARNING • No member of the school shall interfere with another’s opportunity to learn. • It is expected that each student will apply themselves to assigned tasks. • It is the students’ responsibility to obey the direct instructions of adult staff and to ask for clarification if unsure. MOBILITY • Students must travel directly to and from school; obeying appropriate traffic safety rules. • Students must stay at school until dismissed, unless they go to their own home for lunch. • Enter and leave the school by a common door closest to the classroom. • Walk on the right hand side in halls and on stairs. INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS • Discrimination based on race, gender, religion, appearance, or ability shall not be tolerated. • Violence or any other forms of abuse- physical or verbal - shall not be tolerated. • Social alienation and emotional abuse: exclusion, ostracizing, or threatening looks, shall not be tolerated. SAFETY Materials and devices that could be harmful or potentially harmful shall not be brought to school and shall be subject to confiscation. If students are found in possession, students’ complaints or disclosures shall be listened to and given due consideration. 112

DANGER LURKS AND LAYS WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY

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