A teenage girl at a Florida high school was recently suspended for reporting to her principal a rumor that a female teacher was having sex with a special education student. The accusation turned out to be true; the teacher was arrested and has since posted bail. Oops!
To me this story illustrates the need to protect whistleblowers, whether they are a high school student, a member of the press, military or government employee. Sadly, related legislation is currently being stalled by a Republicant member of Congress.
So much for protecting the victim and punishing the guilty, eh?
This incident also brings up a pet issue of mine, and that is the light treatment female sexual predators get in comparison to their male counterparts. I recently watched an episode of South Park that summed up our society's reaction to this phenomenon as I see it: When told of an inappropriate relationship between a female teacher and a young male student, the police not only don’t pursue the case but express envy. When the teacher ultimately has to publicly admit what she’d done, she blames it on alcoholism, and the public quickly forgives her.
As for the principal who didn’t listen, my suggested penalty is suspension without pay. What could be more appropriate?