To set the stage, here’s the story from ThinkProgress. Pay particular attention to the last line in the paragraph.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court declined to review the case of a recent Texas high school student who was kicked off her school’s cheerleading squad after she refused to chant the name of a basketball player who had allegedly raped her. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most conservative courts in the country, ruled last November that the victim — who is known only as H.S. — had no right to refuse to applaud her attacker because as a cheerleader in uniform, she was an agent of the school. To add insult to injury, the Fifth Circuit dismissed her case as “frivolous” and sanctioned the girl, forcing her family to pay the school district’s $45,000 legal fees.
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The Fifth Circuit, one of the most conservative (and activist) courts in the country not only forced this girl to cheer for the man who assaulted her (and why the hell is he still a star player on the high school basketball team after having been convicted of assault…?), but they’re forcing her family to pay $45,000 in legal fees!? This family stood up for their daughter’s rights, and because of a conservative, activist court, they are facing bankruptcy and financial ruin. The boy is back on the team after a little slap on the wrist and a bit of community service. The court called the family’s lawsuit “frivolous.”
As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing at all frivolous about rape, a crime against all women that is extremely under-prosecuted. In this country, a woman who has been raped is victimized all over again by our court system. As the victim, a woman is often demonized by the defense, painted as a whore and a Jezebel who “asked for it” because she wore a short skirt, showed too much cleavage or went to a party.
As long as that attitude prevails in this country, we all might as well be forced to wear burqas.
This whole story pissed me off. I’m sick of the Republican/conservative/Tea Party attack on women and womens’ rights, so I reached out to the attorney who filed this suit asking if there was any way we could help. His response is below, and yes, we can help.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide what you’d like to do. Paypal is easy. Checks are easy. Thank you for whatever you can do to help.
Watts & Associates
Civil Rights Lawyers
P.O. Box 2214
Missouri City, Texas 77459
A lot of my friends would like to help with this family’s legal fees. I am in contact with a large number of people – on ThinkProgress, on Twitter and on Facebook. I’d like to help.
At the very least, please let HR and her family know there are a lot of people who are on her side.