Linda Purrington (
Thu, 26 Mar 1998 11:25:17 -0800

One aspect of the Arkansas massacre that is crucial to understand is the
effect of such massacres on other girls all over the country. This kind
of terrorism goes into the half-conscious learning girls do to shut up
and put up. It is that frisson of fear--what if the kid next to me
really means that he will kill me? This happened in my daughter's 4th
grade class. the teacher could not control the boys, so she asked the
class to write about why the class was being so difficult. My daughter
wrote about the fact that the boys were never under control, and the
teacher told her to read the piece aloud to the class. A much larger
boy launched himself furiously across the room and over the desks at my
kid, who stood her ground but really thought her time had come. After
that, there was no further discussion or attempt to get the boys under
control. The "Title IX officer" at the school said my daughter probably
got attacked because of the publicity about the Petaluma I peer sexual
harasment case in the newspapers--if they hadn't read about it,she
said, they wouldn't have thought of harassing girls. Girls know that
such "plug-up-access" appointments to Title IX positions will not help
them; they in fact thus learn to associate TItle IX with being blocked
in their bid for justice. It's an old tactic, but not time-honored--just

Linda Purrington
Title IX Advocates

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