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July 22, 2019 | 2:25pm
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Students march to protest lack of attention to complaints of sexual assault

About 50 Ferndale High School students gathered in the parking lot of the school during the last period of the school day today, May 17th, and marched to the Ferndale Police Station to bring attention to sexual assault.

Organizers told My Ferndale News they organized the walk-out to bring attention to sexual harassment and assault they said they and others were experiencing. March participants said their complaints have not been adequately dealt with when reported so the problems continue.

Many in the group wrote of their experiences in chalk on the sidewalk in front of the Ferndale Police Station.

Ferndale School District officials issued the following statement in response to the walk-out.

The Ferndale School District is legally and philosophically committed to the safety and security of all students. In fact, this year, we have doubled our counseling staff to ensure that we are able to address the social and emotional needs of students. We are also fortunate to be one of just a few school districts in the country that has received two federal grants to work with students on promoting healthy relationships and preventing issues related to dating and sexual violence. To this end, all of our staff have been trained in a protocol for responding to a student who comes to them with concerns about a related issue.

The student walk-out today is a response to a movement that started outside of Ferndale. We support students First Amendment rights. However, normal attendance protocol are in place this afternoon.  

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11 COMMENTS

  1. As one of the organizers of this walkout, I’d like to say the school is unsuccessfully trying to divert blame from themselves. This walkout was not “a response to a movement that started outside of Ferndale.” It was a response to the fact that many of us have been raped on campus and see our rapists in our school building daily. This was a response to how the school is ignoring our pleas for help and the school district cannot cover that up.

    • I’m so sorry this happened. And I hope this will be enough to start making some changes. I hope there will be a follow-up article written with the students’ side of the story.

  2. Why is this still happening? If the school has doubled its trained counseling staff and received 2 federal grants to address these issues?

  3. Not to distract from the main issue. But, as a side note, I would like to know why these high school students can’t spell correctly and the grammer is so poor?

  4. Ferndale was awful with sexual harrassment when I attended as well. Several people that i personally know were assaulted on campus, during school hours. Nothing was done to support or protect the victims. Good job to these students for making an effort to enforce change!

  5. Soooooo important!
    My sexual assault was not only ignored & denied, it was turned against me & blamed on me. Scarred 4 life.0

  6. Sexual assault is always both serious and emotional. And, unfortunately, easily distorted out of a reasonable perspective. The victim of a sexual assault legitimately feels like the world has crashed in upon them. And they deserve support. At the same time, there is a broader institutional perspective: is the school district responding appropriately? For me, the fact that students take the initiative to protest means that the schools must either effectively defend their current position or change for the better.

    I’m waiting.

  7. As a senior at ferndale high school I participated in this walkout because not only do I have friends who have been assaulted and harassed on campus but also when they went to the school officials the staff member just said to them “boys will be boys” this statement was said to multiple survivors and is in everyone’s eyes a unacceptable response to this kind of thing happening. If our school really does have grants for this type of thing I would like to see more action taken than just a no contact order, because clearly if this has been going on for years maybe the protocol for dealing with this type of situation should be changed. We as students will not be ignored and our survivors stories will be heard. Whether or not our statements make the school look bad is up to school officials.

  8. If a student has been raped or assaulted, why is the perpetrator aloud to attend school with the victim, why is the person not arrested an charged. . This is just not right an I’m proud that the students had the courage to protest.

Comments are closed.