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On October 21, 2009, a school homecoming dance in Richmond, California, ended with a 15-year-old girl gang raped, beaten, robbed, stripped of her humanity, and semi-conscious on her way to the hospital. Four police officers and 15 school supervisors were supposed to be monitoring the dance.

The unidentified victim had been drinking heavily during the dance. She was in the process of leaving the dance when a group of students invited her for another drink in the school courtyard. For more than 2 hours, five boys aged 15 to mid-twenties brutally assaulted and raped the 15-year-old in this school courtyard. Up to twenty more people watched, cheered on, laughed, and took photos of the attack on their phones. No one lifted a finger to dial 911, much less physically help the girl. Around midnight, police received a call from someone that overheard “talk” about the incident. Police found her under a bench, naked from the waste down, and unconscious. Thankfully, she is now in stable condition after being flown to the hospital in critical condition.

So far, two teenage suspects have been arrested, but the police estimate that up to twenty more will be arrested in conjunction. Police have posted a $20,000 reward for anyone that comes in with information that helps arrest and convict the people involved.

School officials are making statements to news outlets such as: “tragic incident,” “we are all going to learn from this,” “we wish this would never have happened,” “school administrators and police apparently weren’t watching the area as they should have.” The school also held a safety meeting for parents and students on Wednesday night. However, I think this is too little effort and way too late. School officials just approved security cameras this year after several years of violent crimes on school grounds… such as a student that was shot on school grounds and died in the principles arms. The time for safety meetings and learning from incidents was long before this girl was victimized.

So I ask, after years of violence on school grounds, why were present police and dance supervisors not more cautious? If their job was to patrol the dance, why did they not notice and investigate a crowd of 20 plus boys cheering for over 2 hours? How was this girl intoxicated inside of a school function without any person in authority noticing or taking action?

Of course, the bi-standers and attackers are the criminals here. However, I find the gross incompetence of the school and present police to be culpable as well.