North Carolina High School Students Walk Out In Protest Over Handling Of Student's Sexual Assault Case
Students asked the school to review its practices in regard to students with pending charges.
October 12, 2021 at 5:22 pm
“We’re out here today because we’re not going to let them silence our voices anymore,” said student Sereniti Simpson.
Simpson helped to organize the protest, which comes in response to the accused student athlete still being allowed to participate in athletic events.
“If you get your phone taken in class, you’re benched, but yet he can be under investigation for a sexual crime and still get to play on Friday, that is ridiculous,” Simpson said.
“The coaches covered up his ankle monitor so it wouldn’t be shown,” Brianna Moncada, a senior, told the outlet.
According to WBTV, an unidentified girl alleged that she was sexually assaulted on campus by a 15-year-old boy. Law enforcement said the boy was interviewed and later charged with attempted second-degree rape, second-degree kidnapping and sexual battery.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Athletic Director Erica Turner spoke with reporters following the protest, admitting there is a student who is currently charged with several offenses and was allowed to still play in a Friday night game.
“My experience as a principal, athletic director and coach lets me know that sometimes we have to make tough decisions and in this incident we did not make the right call,” said Turner, per WBTV.
In a separate statement, Turner said they are now reviewing the school's protocols for students who have pending charges.
“We will make it clear to our coaches and our athletic directors that we must uphold standards aligned to our student code of conduct. Moving forward, any student-athlete that is arrested or charged for a criminal offense will not be allowed to participate in athletics while the charges are pending.”
Simpson later alleged that she and some of the volleyball players who participated in the protest received a verbal punishment and were benched from playing in the next game.
“I’ve had girls tell me they don’t feel safe because they see him walking on their campus,” Simpson said on Friday. “And not just him. There are so many other boys that get to walk free. [School administrators] need to actually take steps to make sure our girls feel safer on campus. They need to kick kids off campus who are charged with crimes.”