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Boarding School Rape Trial Sheds Light on ‘Sexual Scoring’ Culture

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19-year-old Owen Labrie is finally facing trial today for the alleged rape of a 15-year-old classmate at New Hampshire boarding school St. Paul’s back in May 2014. “The senior salute,” according to what Labrie told Associated Press, is a tradition for graduating seniors to try to take the virginity of younger classmates before receiving their diplomas.

There are no words to describe the horror of this tradition, which the elite prep school, once a home to our current secretary of state, has apparently turned a blind eye to for years. Even worse, an online forum was being used by students to keep track of these “scores.” Labrie told detectives that he was trying to be “number one.” I guess he doesn’t realize he scored Number One in World’s Biggest Creep.

READ: Teaching Girls to be Confident and Boys Not to Rape

This case illustrates broader issues of sexual assault on campuses, indicating that it doesn’t start in college; it begins earlier.

It is scary to think that places like St. Paul’s is where many highly educated members of society learn to use privilege and power to manipulate others. The fact that alum Carolyn Forrester wrote an email to the Boston Globe, saying, “This incident felt both out of the blue and like it had been waiting to happen for a long time,” only exemplifies our nation’s mishandling of pervasive rape culture in all schools, not just this one.

It’s our duty as parents and writers to educate our children not to rape, instead of trying to “cover it up.”

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