Work it out with him.
We’re going to have to send you to a disciplinary school for 45 days.
These are two things you normally wouldn’t expect to hear as a response when you report being raped at your school, but one young woman claims these are the exact responses she received.
In an interview with NBC News, former high school student Rachel Bradshaw-Bean claimed that a boy asked her to go into the band room at Henderson High School in East Texas on Dec. 6, 2010 while they were waiting for a Key Club meeting to begin after school. Soon after, she said the boy got aggressive and raped her.
After crying and cleaning herself up, she attempted to tell an assistant band director about the alleged incident, but he offered her a strange bit of advice.
He told me to work it out with the boy. There’s no way I would do that. But I didn’t know what to think. I was 17.
The following day, an assistant vice principal found out about it after hearing from another assistant band director who was told about the situation by Bradshaw-Bean and a friend. The school sent Bradshaw-Bean to a health clinic, where they found lacerations to the hymen and bleeding “consistent with information given per victim,” according to a medical report obtained by NBC News.
One day after forensic specialist Michael Jimerson interviewed Bradshaw-Bean, police called her parents to say that they would not be filing any criminal charges against the boy. Here’s what Bradshaw-Bean’s mother had to say about it.
They said the sex was consensual. I was so shocked. I thought, they are pushing this under the rug. She’s being treated this way because she’s a female. I looked at my husband and said, “Do they know women have the right to vote?”
When asked about his decision, Jimerson stood by it.
We broke it down with her version of events and his. Her claims could not be substantiated. At the end of the day, I just know that objectively, there was almost no chance of a conviction. As a prosecutor, I have to be vigilant about the cases I pursue.
Jimerson also said that he felt the language Bradshaw-Bean used during the interview “implied consensual sex instead of forcible rape.” According to NBC, he couldn’t come up with the exact transcript of Bradshaw-Bean’s comments.
Bradshaw-Bean says she thought her statements were clear.
I was reporting a rape. It sounds like my words are getting twisted. If you have to twist someone’s words to make your case, then something’s not right.
The end result was Bradshaw-Bean and her accused rapist both being sent to a disciplinary school for 45 days as punishment for “public lewdness.”
The school also decided not to fulfill its legal obligation to launch its own internal investigation.
After hearing the story, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought the case to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in June of 2012, who ruled that Henderson High School violated Bradshaw-Bean’s rights by not only refusing to investigate the alleged rape, but also for taking actions against her for reporting it. As a result, the school was required to clear her record and was given a 13-point plan to comply with Title IX.
The school also had to pay for a counselor for Bradshaw-Bean, to help her deal with the mental and emotional struggles she has gone through over the last couple of years. She is thankful that she is finally being heard.
Finally, I thought, there are some smart people in the world—rational people with levelheaded thoughts. It restored my faith in humanity.
In the video below, Bradshaw-Bean responded to Jimerson’s thoughts of her ‘language’ implying consent.