OH - SNAP calls for action at Steubenville High
A lengthy New York Times story this week provides chilling details about the rape of a girl and the inadequate response to that crime by Steubenville school officials.
After reading about this case, we cannot help but see some parallels between this situation and that which occurred at Penn State. Although the crimes are different, it is a fact of both cases that in each there is a definite mystique around the football program and a cult of personality surrounding the coach (Paterno at PSU, and Reno Saccoccia in Steubenville). In both cases, the love of football has prevented the proper investigation into the alleged rape and the punishment of those involved.
We call on the school board to suspend Coach Saccoccia for his behavior. The fact that he has refused to take any real disciplinary steps towards the football players that either witnessed or in some way abetted the alleged rape is disturbing, and his treatment of the New York Times journalist who spoke to him about the case is frightening. His actions are indicative of someone who cares more about their win-loss record than about the young people they are supposed to be improving.
We also urge the school board to examine the actions of Superintendant Michael McVey and Principal Shawn Crosier. We are disappointed that they left all disciplinary decisions up to Coach Saccoccia, and the fact that they failed to follow up with any of the students in attendance at the party where the alleged rape occurred is distressing.
This sad case has all the tell tale signs of an attempted cover-up, and our hearts ache for the victim in this case who has been subjected to undue scrutiny and blame. We hope that the added attention on Steubenville High School will result in justice for the victim, repercussions for the alleged rapists, and accountability for Steubenville officials.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.