PHS notifies families of social media site reporting sexual harassment, assault

PHS parents and students received an email from Principal Adam Littlefield on Tuesday evening alerting them to the existence of a social media account where students have anonymously posted reports of sexual assault and harassment.

The Instagram account “Piedmont Protectors” says it is a student-run account with a mission to “provide a platform for survivors to anonymously report stories of sexual assault, harassment, abuse, and rape within Piedmont. We want to give these people a voice to share their experiences.” After publishing the names and social media handles of alleged perpetrators when the account first launched last week, the site administrators later said they would stop doing so for their own safety and to protect the people sharing their stories.

It currently has over 1,300 followers, including the Piedmont Police Department. It appears similar to accounts tracking sexual assault and harassment at Berkeley High School and Bishop O’Dowd.

Littlefield’s email reads:

It has come to my attention that there have been recent social media posts involving current and former students reporting activity that is of concern. My email is intended to provide several points of information.

The school administration is aware of the social media posts that include information about sexual assault involving PHS students. The school administration is reaching out to let victims know that the administrative staff, counseling staff, and Wellness Center staff are available for support. Students are encouraged to contact an administrator, counselor or Wellness Center staff if needed. The school administration regularly meets and collaborates with Piedmont Police and will discuss these topics at our next meeting. Victims should also consider contacting Piedmont Police for support. 

PUSD strives to have a culture of positivity and inclusiveness and we can only do so with your help. Students and other community members may complete a Speak-up! Form to report a concern.Your report is anonymous (unless you choose to provide your name); however, any details you can provide will help us address the problem and create a better school culture. Once school starts we have other resources available such as Restorative Justice practitioners and our Piedmont Police Juvenile Officer to support students. Students are encouraged to use the suggestions listed above for support.

Piedmont High School students should feel safe whether it’s during school or during breaks. School should be safe in-person, hybrid, or during full distance learning. And, school should be safe during school activities, whether at school or away. Please do your part to keep all of us safe.

3 thoughts on “PHS notifies families of social media site reporting sexual harassment, assault

  1. The fact that the first comment on this post was made by a man defending boys is sad, but not surprising. Thank you Meera for educating those who don’t know any better. Girls and women need to be heard in a safe space and should be believed, not dismissed. It takes so much courage for a woman to speak up, whether that be through social media or another avenue that feels safe to them. It’s 2020 Phil, not 1950. The time when men could drag women through the mud while our “community and institutions performed their obligations” to get away with sexual assault is over.

  2. In reply to Phil Peters and all others who rush to the defense of boys and men who assault girls and women: School is not a safe or nurturing environment if our female students are being assaulted regularly and parents are more concerned with covering up the identity of the perpetrators than keeping our girls safe. All rapists must be held to account and all parents of rapists need to redress their own negligence in their parenting role once they realize they have either allowed or encouraged their sons to feel entitled to take whatever they want from women without consent. It’s not too late to teach all of our sons how to respect and protect women before they leave for college. It is the duty of every parent to do so.
    Also, statistics and common sense both establish that false allegations of sexual abuse made by minors are 0-2%, depending upon the study, and in the study with the highest rate ever found (2%), all the accusers (N=5) had indeed been sexually abused, they just did not feel safe identifying their perpetrator, so when forced to name a name, falsely accused a safer target, so the falsity did not relate to what happened, only to who did it. The largest study on false allegations by children included a sample of 7,672 cases involving abused children and 0% Of those children were found to have made a false allegation of sexual abuse. Girls would not bring the stigma of sexual victimization upon themselves willingly. 95 percent of victims of sexual abuse never tell anyone about what they have been through and 30 to 50 percent of girls and 13 to 20 percent of boys have been sexually assaulted prior to age 18 depending upon the study.
    I worked for 23 years as an attorney and advocate for child victims of sexual assault prior to retiring and I spent 13 years training court professionals on this subject and would be happy to serve as a resource for anyone needing knowledge or expertise in this area that would benefit our students. The numbers don’t lie, and neither do the girls (statistically). We must protect them and teach our sons to do the same.

  3. Let our community and institutions perform their obligations to protect, educate and empower our youth, while nurturing them in a safe environment, and let us also be circumspect in rushing to accuse or judge any person based on innuendo or hearsay.

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