Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What Does Mostly False Really Mean?

A statement made about this hazing case reminds me of the minimizing statements usually directed at women and girls who report being raped.

LAS VEGAS, N.M.—Six football players from Robertson High School have been suspended from the program and the coaching staff has been placed on leave while state police and the school district investigate allegations of hazing.

State police said in a statement Friday that investigators were looking into possible criminal allegations stemming from a hazing incident at a four-day preseason training camp northwest of Las Vegas.

At least one student alleged that he was pinned down and sodomized with a broomstick, but district Superintendent Rick Romero said that accusation appeared to be mostly false.

Mostly false?

Romero's statement is appalling because it is a backhanded admission that the allegations are mostly true, but he labels the actions of the hazers in a more positive light than one of the victims of this hazing has labeled them. To make any statement which paints a student who was hazed as a liar before the investigation is complete causes additional harm to that student and to all other students who were hazed during this training camp.

How does Romero know those allegations are mostly false? If he "knows" this because he has taken the hazers version of events as the truth that is very dangerous. This habit of contradicting those who report violence is what helps embolden those who participate in violent hazing.

If the alleged falseness in the student's claim came because the students who were hazed were described as not being physically injured that's a dangerous linkage. That makes violence acceptable as long as the victim doesn't need to be rushed to the hospital.

If this case is still open and under investigation, Romero should have focused on supporting that investigation rather than attempting to minimize what happened by publicly labeling a student-victim as a liar.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:33 AM   0 comments links to this post


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