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What is the deal with kids getting raped in Oklahoma schools lately?

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
The sexually-explicit, Norman North Confess Twitter account.
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NORMAN, Okla. -- According to the frequency of recent media reports, there have been a slew of sexual assaults committed by and on school age children in Oklahoma of late. 

Four teens on the Norman North wrestling team have been charged with rape in Norman; One teen wrestler from Moore faces a similar charge; a former band teacher from Luther charged with first degree rape of a middle school student, all within the last 30 days.

It may sound like an epidemic, but Kim Moyer, Senior Director of Communications for the YWCA, says the number of sexual assaults gaining attention these days is not uncommon, they are simply garnering more attention.   One in every six kids will be sexually assaulted before the age of 24; females make up a higher ratio of that percentage.  Moyer said it is too soon to tell if there is a unique causation of the recent events. 

The YWCA runs the sexual assault nurse examiner program for Oklahoma County.  Karla Docter, Senior Director of Sexual Violence Prevention and Response, oversaw the implementation of that program and put a fresh perspective on the importance of how people address the issue. 

“It is really important we call it what it is. It is rape,” she said.  “It is one thing when people say you are hazing; it is completely another to be called a rapist.”

Moyer said, “It is not up to people to prevent being sexually assaulted.  We put all the responsibility on the perpetrator.  It is not a sex act; it is an issue of power and control.”

“If you took the word ‘sexual’ out of it and it was just assault, whose fault would it be?  It is not up to the victim to do anything [to prevent],” Moyer said.

Norman Public Schools has adopted proactive stances to instances of sexual assaults since they were criticized last May for turning a blind eye to the victims of Norman North senior Tristen Killman-Hardin, sentenced to 10 years in prison for rape of a fellow student.  But they still may have work to do.

TWEET & SOUR

Red Dirt Report uncovered a Twitter account, last posted in 2014, with the name Norman North Confess, using the school’s image and logo.  All of the posts on the feed were explicitly sexual, describing sexual experiences and desired sexual conquests, posted from @NNConfess.

One feed states: “Favorite this is you know/are a senior who’s **** with a freshman!”  The post received three favorites. 

Alesha Leemaster, Director of Communications and Community Relations for Norman Public Schools said the school was not aware of the account, and thanked Red Dirt Report for bringing it to their attention.

“The fraudulent account, which has not been active in about two years, is unacceptable and we have reported the violation to Twitter. Our student policy guide prohibits students from engaging in bullying or harassment in any form, including electronic communications and we also comply with state laws to educate students about appropriate online behavior. Any student who is identified as a participant in this behavior will be disciplined by the school,” she said.

Docter said the answer is not to educate victims on prevention, but to emphasize healthy relationships, the importance that consent is clearly given and understood before sexual activity and empowering bystanders to say to someone, ‘Hey, that’s not cool.’

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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