Students at Humble High School in Texas were left in tears after an assembly about rape and domestic violence went terribly wrong, KHOU reports.
The upset was sparked from a visiting speaker, who was brought in from a local domestic violence and sexual assault charity to speak to ninth- and 10th-grade girls for an event planned by students as part of International Women’s Day.
According to the students, things started out fine, with a simple message of self-respect, for which the students were on board, but then, they say, things went south when the speaker noticed a group of girls talking throughout the assembly and lashed out.
“She said when she moves the cover from over your face and they start swabbing and combing the hair, she was explaining the rape kit; she said she would not feel bad for us. She said she would tell us, ‘Oh, I told you this was going to happen to you,’” said Chantranise Lane, a sophomore at the school.
According to KHOU, the school district confirmed that the speaker spoke about what students wear and about how what they portray on social media could create an impression. Some of the girls said they felt the comments were accusatory. And, the girls said, there were rape victims in the audience who were brought to tears by the comments.
“They shouldn’t be telling students that just because you’re posed a certain way, you’re going to get assaulted. That shouldn’t happen. You need to teach the boys not to do that,” Zaria Rogan, another sophomore, added.
Another issue that didn’t go unnoticed by the girls was the fact that boys were not allowed at the assembly, further misplacing the message.
“If somebody comes at me and I tell them ‘No, you stop what you’re doingg,’ that is a no. So if boys are not being taught this and they’re being taught that if we portray ourselves like this then they can do what they want to us, then that’s never going to change,” another student, Emily Nelson, said.
“I’m not mad at them about trying to teach us about respect, but it should have just been addressed in a better way,” Faith Jordan, another student, added.
The district said that the assembly was terminated early after it was clear that students were upset. A later assembly that was to be held for upperclassmen girls was also canceled.