“I went and told my parents about the sexual assault. Mom and Dad called the school, worried and deeply upset, and assumed that the people they spoke to would share their concern: two boys on campus had assaulted their girl.” – Lacy Crawford
Novelist Lacy Crawford attended St. Paul’s School in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She writes of her sexual assault at age 15 at the hands of two seniors on the boy’s lacrosse team, and the school’s response, in a recent issue of Vanity Fair and her in new memoir Notes on a Silencing.
St. Paul’s in Concord, New Hampshire is an elite Episcopal boarding school. It first admitted girls in 1971. The “Senior Salute” trial of Owen Labrie triggered an investigation of sexual assault on campus confirming a widespread pattern of sexual assault and administrative coverups.
From the book jacket:
School leadership talked to people about me. They had conversations with students, but not with my friends. They talked to the school psychologist, the school’s lawyer, and the physician in the infirmary. I do not know the substance of these conversations, but in the third week of May, the school psychologist, Reverend S., Vice Rector Bill Mathews, and the rector, Kelly Clark, sat down with the school’s legal counsel and arrived at the formal conclusion that, despite what I had claimed, and despite the statutory laws on the books in their state, the encounter between me and the boys had been consensual. They also concluded that they would not abide by state law and report the incident to the police. The authorities were not notified. They remained in the dark.
The boys were informed about the diagnosis of STDs before she was:
The school never said anything to me. They did, however, apparently find reason to enlighten my schoolmates about one thing. Before we all left campus that spring, a vice rector sat down with members of the boys’ varsity lacrosse team and told them that he didn’t want to ask any questions, but if any of them had ever been intimate with Lacy Crawford, he should go to the infirmary right away to get checked out.
I have been told that this happened both on the lacrosse field and in a teacher’s apartment. Where was I, at that moment? Certainly not at the infirmary. I still thought my throat hurt because I was a bad person who had done a terrible thing. Even once I found out a few months later about the vice rector’s bit of patriarchal counsel to his boys, I did not do the math to arrive at the realization made by a detective investigating the school more than 25 years after the fact: “So the students knew about the herpes before you did.”
Read the whole thing.
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