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Court Orders Cheerleader to Pay School $45k for Refusing to Cheer Rapist
It seems sports are the most important thing modern American schools are capable of teaching our children these days. The rights of any young female who happen to be a cheerleader are not relevant, and the only difference between right and wrong is whatever school officials might consider it to be, at any given moment.
According to a report from The Independent, Monday, April 2, 2011, the United States Supreme court declined to hear a review of an unsuccessful compensation case brought against Silsbee High School in Southwest Texas. In the initial case, a cheerleader (identified in records only as HS) claims the school violated her rights to free speech by ejecting her from the cheerleading squad, for refusing to cheer one player she says had raped her, four months earlier.
Isn't this just a case of a cheerleader's word against an all-mighty high school basketball star? Not really. HS had pressed charges against Rakheem Bolton, and two other young men, for the crime of rape during a party she had attended.
In the miracle of modern Texas justice, Mr. Bolton readily accepted a plea deal for misdemeanor assault, which cost him nothing more than two years probation, a fine, community service, and an anger management class. Of course, the rape charges were dropped. Can't ruin a budding basketball star's career, now can we?
Four months later, in January of 2009, HS was cheering a game within which Bolton was a player. She's said to have led cheers during the entire game, until Bolton came up for a free-throw. Rather than cheer for her attacker, she chose to stand silently with her arms folded. In her own words: "I didn't want to have to say his name and I didn't want to cheer for him. I just didn't want to encourage anything he was doing."
Apparently, school Superintendent Richard Bain found this one moment of conscientious objection unacceptable and ordered her out of the gymnasium. Outside, he told her she was required to cheer for Bolton, which she refused. Bain's disgust with a young woman having a conscience of her own must have been too much for him, and he expelled her from the cheerleading squad.
The family then decided to take the school district to court for violation of the civil rights of HS, but unfortunately, two lower courts seem to also be averse to the concept of rights as well and found against her. Their decision was based on her voluntary participation in the school's cheerleading squad meant she was essentially a "mouthpiece" for an institution, and therefore had surrendered her rights to free speech.
In a disgusting addition of insult to injury, HS is ordered to pay $45,000 to the school for bringing a "frivolous" lawsuit against the school. Amazing, isn't it? Thanks to the miracle of a plea bargain and the average Texan's love of high school sports, not only can a star student athlete get away with rape, the victime might be punished to the tune of thousands of dollars should she dare to further stand up for herself. Shame on you, Silsbee High School. Shame on you, Texas.
Originally published on Gather News.
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