Atascadero high school students fight harassment on campus • Atascadero News

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The students met at Sunken Gardens and walked to campus to get the attention of school officials

ATASCADERO – On December 17, nearly 100 students from Atascadero High School (AHS) met at Sunken Gardens after school to discuss a recurring problem at the school. Several reports of sexual assault and harassment were made on campus, but according to the students, these reports were dismissed by school officials.

Students said Atascadero news an Instagram account, ahs_iustitia, was created by a student after their friend reported an assault to school officials who discredited the allegation. Iustitia means Lady Justice in Latin. The account is an anonymous account where students can anonymously tell their stories of assault or harassment.

A student, whose name has been redacted, said Atascadero news, “We take matters into our own hands because every time students have gone to school, they have turned them down. We try to do what we can as students because no one else is supporting us. “

Go through this together, Atascadero

The same student referred to her own story, claiming that a student at the ASB club was harassing her and, when reported to school officials, the offending student was defended by saying he was was about a “bad love story”.

The bio for the account reads: “Ah, it’s better: for those who are too afraid to speak up, or nothing has been done. to show the problem and raise awareness. DM me and I will post anonymously. student race.

As of December 21, 49 stories had been posted to the account. Student stories include stories of harassment, sexual assault, and racism on campus. The stories come from current students as well as former students.

There are many stories involving reports of sexual assault that were dismissed by school officials:

“I told a first grade counselor that I was AS by another student in the school and she responds saying she was family friends with her parents and that he would never do anything. like that. I am now a senior and still have panic attacks every time I see him. Why didn’t she just believe me?

A student’s story concerns rape:

“When I spoke to my rapist’s office, they completely dismissed him saying it was a ‘bad love affair'”

And others have stories of stalkers:

“I’m a freshman and when I reported the stalker to the office they didn’t care and instead they sympathized with him saying I bullied him.”

After meeting at Sunken Gardens, the students walked towards the school with signs to raise awareness of their cause. The students plan to meet over winter break to form a club: “We want the school to change its policies and rules and take things more seriously because they are serious things – we want this conversation. continues. “

Students hope to see more disciplinary action from school officials and that their reports be taken more seriously.

Atascadero Unified School District (AUSD) administrator George Shoemaker said Atascadero news the students organized the event themselves, but he and many parents attended.

Superintendent Tom Butcher told Atascadero News, the students: “Did a good job giving a statement in a peaceful manner, we appreciate it.”

The Atascadero Unified School District sent the following statement to Atascadero news:

“The Atascadero Unified School District is committed to providing a safe, supportive and positive school campus for students and staff. We encourage our students, parents and staff to immediately report this type of problem to the school site administration and local law enforcement. These agencies can trigger an immediate and thorough investigation resulting in appropriate action and support. AUSD is proud to share that we have a highly regarded wellness center on the Atascadero High School campus to support all of our students and families.

December 21, Atascadero News received a copy of a letter from Superintendent Butler to the AUSD community.

Hope you all have a great time with your family and friends this holiday season. Over the past two weeks, the school district has reviewed our practices to foster positive school campuses, support our students and staff, and improve the ability of individuals to report concerns. This in turn will allow us to respond quickly and fully.

These are some of the steps we are taking to achieve our goal of having safe and supportive school environments where students can pursue their academic and professional goals, while developing excellent citizenship.

  • We are happy to share that this year we have been able to provide additional counseling services throughout the school district. They are highly trained and fully certified counselors who can assist students and families on a wide variety of topics directly on their school site.
  • We remain fully committed to the wellness centers at Atascadero High School and Paloma Creek High School. The professional staff at the wellness centers are amazing and available to help our students and their families in the most complicated situations.
  • This fall, we were able to add an additional campus supervisor at Atascadero High School and Atascadero College. Campus Supervisors have a wonderful presence on campus and are deeply committed to supporting all of our students.
  • The school district continues to benefit from a School Resources Officer from the Atascadero Police Department and a School Resources Officer from the Sheriff’s Department of San Luis Obispo. They are truly a great resource for our community.
  • All of our primary schools are dedicated to the development of positive citizenship in our students. Thanks to a strong partnership with the Greyhound Foundation, we instituted the Where Everyone Belongs program at Atascadero Middle School this year. The program promotes kindness, respect and citizenship among our college students. At Atascadero High School, we continue to offer the Peer Mentoring Course which is another great resource for our students.
  • We are working to clarify incident reports at our two largest school sites (Atascadero High School and Atascadero College) upon our return in the New Year. We have created a central reporting email address for each school. This will ensure that our school site administration can respond immediately to resolve the issue. When making a report, we encourage the person to provide us with their contact details and / or sufficient details to investigate immediately. The report emails are:
  • For all other school sites, please report any incidents of concern directly to your site director.
  • In addition, if there is a situation that presents an immediate danger, please call 911. If an incident is of a criminal nature, please report it directly to law enforcement.

Thank you for your continued support to the Atascadero Unified School District. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at (805) 462-4217.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season,

Tom butler

Superintendent

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