Anderson County schools had this problem for the first time in 2005?
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - An Anderson County teenager has filed a lawsuit over her temporary dismissal from a weightlifting class by a principal who feared male students might try to rape her.There are so many things wrong with that story that I am at a loss for where to begin. Most of the problem rests with the jackass principal who corrects an as-yet non-existent problem by removing the potential target, rather than preventing the potential bad behavior at the source. I’m real skeptical about a principal whose thoughts turn to rape that quickly, too. Krista, from whom I got the link, points out another problem: why is there only one female athlete in the weightlifting class? But my deep conviction is that this whole mess was completely unnecessary.
[Asshole principal] McCracken said in a deposition that he was afraid [female student] Phillips might be sexually assaulted in the class.
"Having a female with 35 or so male students in an isolated area from the school, it sets a very liable situation in my opinion," [sexist pervert] McCracken said in the deposition.
Three days after kicking Phillips out of the class, [you know he mulled over the problem in great detail and at much length, several times] McCracken changed his mind and reinstated her.
"She is up there with a bunch of football players, a 24- to 25-year-old coach, the only girl — there is a safety issue there. It was a hard call for the principal to make," [ignorant school district council] Knight answered. ...
I have been the only girl, then the only woman, in the room my whole life. TKD, math/science school where your female Asian-Am classmates weren’t allowed to go out at night, PE classes, engineering classes, very occasionally Ultimate? Me in a room with a bunch of guys is a familiar and comfortable state. I have, in fact, been in the very circumstance Phillips was removed from; for two sequential Fall semesters I took a PE class at the local community college that turned out to be the conditioning class for their baseball team. Three mornings a week I was the only woman in a class of seventy early-twenties men*. I have always found the same thing. Dedicated athletes who show up for a difficult conditioning workout tend to be very interested in getting their workout in. In my experience, they are not simultaneously erotically interested in the woman in the class, or looking for opportunities to haze or assault her. I felt insignificant in those classes (as is appropriate for one student among many), but never threatened.
I would love to see that principal spend some long squirmy days in rigorous sensitivity training. I hope that court case sets precedents that will inform other school district lawyers that reinforcing nasty stereotypes of men and women is potentially costly. I hope Phillips is kicking ass in college, lifting heavy things and running fast.
*That class was hard and all agro boot-camp-like, with an old-school instructor who would repeatedly cuss out his students and call them girlie, then remember me and apologize for using bad words. We did forty minutes of abs, three days a week. Man alive, I was in good shape those months. The baseball guys were annoying; in two sequential fall semesters, not one of them voluntarily spoke a word to me. I had to be noticeable; I was the only person there who wasn’t on the team. When we paired off to do medicine ball work, I would stand there, mostly amused, as the guys turned to each other and the last guy slowly realized (after approaching other pairs of guys) that he was going to have to work with the girl. I could understand if I were slowing his workout, but I used the same weight medicine balls and was at about the 35th percentile for speed drills. So they favored slower guys over me. I’ve had people tell me that baseball guys are real traditional jocks; all that time in the dugout selects for manly-types who like manly bonding. Anyway, they were young and pretty, not in the least friendly, and I loved the workout, which is what we were there for.