Rachel Bradshaw-Bean Suspended from Texas High School after Reporting Alleged Rape
A Texas teen who reported being raped on the grounds of her high school was suspended and sent to a school for students with disciplinary problems, where she was forced to be near the boy who allegedly raped her.
NBC News reports Rachel Bradshaw Bean, a 17-year-old senior at Henderson High School in eastern Texas, said she was raped by a fellow student after following him into the school’s band room in December, 2010.
“I was crying,” Bradshaw-Bean, now 20, told NBC News. “I pulled my pants up and went to the bathroom to clean myself up.”
The teen reported the sex attack to the assistant band director, who allegedly told her to “work it out with the boy.”
Two school days later, the traumatized teen and a friend again told the assistant band director what had allegedly happened. This time an assistant vice president got involved, and the school notified police and Bradshaw-Bean’s parents.
Bradshaw-Bean was sent to a children’s health clinic, where an exam showed lacerations to her hymen and bleeding “consistent with information given per victim,” according to a report.
A day later, police informed her parents that no charges would be filed.
“They said the sex was consensual,” mother Colleen Chevallier told NBC News. “I was so shocked. I thought, they are pushing this under the rug. She’s being treated this way because she’s a female.”
Rusk County District Attorney Michael Jimerson told NBC News that “the case was investigated, reviewed and declined for prosecution based on the law and the evidence.”
“Her claims could not be substantiated,” Jimerson added. “At the end of the day, I just know that objectively, there was almost no chance of a conviction.”
Despite a legal obligation to conduct its own investigation, Henderson High School officials instead decided to discipline Bradshaw-Bean and her alleged rapist for ‘public lewdness.’ They were both ordered to attend a disciplinary school for 45 days, where she was forced to see the boy regularly.
“They were treating the victim like a criminal,” Chevallier told NBC. “It was really like living in hell.”
To make matters worse, students taunted and mocked Bradshaw-Bean. She was told that she “deserved” what had happened to her.
Bradshaw-Bean filed a Title IX complaint with the US Department of Education. Meanwhile, she graduated high school and grew increasingly depressed.
“My personality changed. I didn’t want to do anything,” she told NBC News. “I blamed myself for the longest time.”
Then, in June 2012, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights concluded Henderson High School had violated Title IX by failing to investigate Bradshaw-Bean’s rape claim and had retaliated against her by sending her to the disciplinary school. The school was forced to comply with Title IX, clear Bradshaw-Bean’s record and provide counseling, which she said “really helped.”
Bradshaw-Bean now attends Lone Star College and is married. She told NBC News that because of the injustice she suffered, she is able to “help others facing injustice of their own.”