Segregating female students from classes dominated by boys is not an effective method of rape prevention. In many ways it sends a message that boys can't help themselves and aren't to blame if they rape.
An Anderson County [Tennessee] teenager has filed a lawsuit over her temporary dismissal from a weightlifting class by a principal who feared male students might try to rape her.
Phillips' attorney, Roger L. Ridenour, said stress from the incident caused the student to become physically ill. He said the handling of the situation by then-principal Bob McCracken is part of a pattern of mishandled sex issues at the high school.
Phillips was an honor student and a track team member when she signed up for the class, where she eventually earned an A. She has since graduated and is in college. McCracken said in a deposition that he was afraid Phillips might be sexually assaulted in the class. "Having a female with 35 or so male students in an isolated area from the school, it sets a very liable situation in my opinion," McCracken said in the deposition. Three days after kicking Phillips out of the class, McCracken changed his mind and reinstated her.
Talk about having a low opinion of boys and men. Yet rather than dealing with the source of the risk, this principal, like many others, expected the potential victim to lose out because of what those boys and men might do.
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