Unbelievably, Superintendent Malcolm Thomas appears to be blaming the female victim in an alleged sexual assault. The daily newspaper ran on its front page a follow-up story on the Spencer Bibbs music teacher who was arrested for molesting a student. The story wasn’t about how children can try to avoid sexual predators or how they should report attacks, not the article was on how teachers can protect themselves from students.
Yes, the teacher shouldn’t be assumed to be guilty until his day in a court, but the victim shouldn’t be branded a lair either. It’s as if the whole world has it backwards. Thomas should be showing concern for the child, as should the News Journal. As the father of three daughters, I find the whole tone of his response and the article offensive.
From my interview of the mother of the girl who was sexually assaulted at Tate High, we learned how abrupt and rude Thomas was to her. Tate officials not only suspended the victim, but kept her suspended even after her assailant was arrested. While she was suspended, they refused to give her counseling, according to the mother.
At Warrington Middle, there was the Becky Bus ride in October 2009. We’ve learned that the female student involved was removed from the school and transferred to Clubbs. The male students got light punishments, according to our sources.
Ironically the arrest of the Bibbs teacher came as the board was voting on keeping bus stops 100 feet from the homes of state-supervised sex offenders.