To the students at Fon de Lac High School, “Thank you”
By Melanie Blow
It seems like only last week that I said my piece about communities more concerned with high-school students reading thought-provoking material about rape than about protecting their young members from it. Alas, I was wrong.
I was angry when I read this article in Jezebel. Once again, a town seemingly so afraid of the reality of the raped students in its midst that it thought it better to stop all discussion of the subject than to lead the student body into intelligent conversation.
I work on preventing child abuse and eliminating the statute of limitations for the prosecution of child sexual abuse. I’m used to frustration. But then I read the actual article the students wrote As I scan the main-stream media for articles to post or write about, I rarely find any displaying this intelligence or sensitivity. The students who wrote this have proven that they are entering adulthood with the understanding and compassion needed to end the plague of sexual violence.
Their school is bound and determined to stop them.
To the students at Fon de Lac High School who wrote this incredible piece- thank you. You have made the world a better place, you have made your community and your school a better place, and you’re just warming up. While I wish you good luck in your future endeavors, I realize you’re making your own luck.
To the very brave students who told your stories, you are making the world a better place. You will find that the act of telling makes you healthier. It allows you to connect better to other people in your lives. People heal differently, people cope differently. What works for one person today may not work for someone else, and it may not work for you tomorrow. Never give up, that means you’re letting the people who hurt you win. And as long as you keep it up, you’ll either end up where you want to in life, or you’ll end up someplace much better.
And to the administrators who are so afraid of this article they’re trying to censor it- I always thought the goal of a high school was to release intelligent, well-adjusted people into society who were interested in improving it. You have that. And now you’re trying to dismantle it.
Are you so afraid of the problem they’re trying to solve that you’re willing to destroy the solution?
Is that the kind of legacy you want your school to leave?
Sign the students petition
Melanie Blow is an incest survivor, a biochemist, a writer and is absolutely passionate about ensuring that every child has a safe home. She leads Stop Abuse Campaign’s campaign to eliminate Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse, is a member of the Board of Directors for Prevent Child Abuse NY and sits on the Rochester Area Coalition Against Human Trafficking. She blogs for the Stop Abuse Campaign and Prevent Child Abuse NY, testifies in front of legislators and talks to anyone who wants to learn about child abuse or how to prevent it. Melanie lives in Rochester, NY, where she occasionally practices creative writing, birding, and hiking.