I’m Enraged!

by Susan

The atrocious 2 hr gang rape of a 15 year old girl outside a homecoming dance on school property in Richmond, California is a tragedy revealing issues of poverty, humanity and accountability.

There are no easy answers as to how this could happen and no simple way to ensure it never happens again.

This disgusting crime reveals many sicknesses in our society.

Can you say DESENSITIZED???

The teenagers who watched this crime are obviously so desensitized to brutality and have such little regard for human life that they could watch a young girl be beaten and sexually assaulted for over 2 hours.

That is insane!!!

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But, it seems the school district officials are also desensitized to the violence in their community. Statements from West Contra Costa Unified School District spokesman Marin Trujillo reveal that he lacks the horror and rage that anyone should feel after hearing about such a crime.

“Once the child leaves the dance, we don’t take them home.”

“The dance itself was a success in terms of safety. Nothing happened at the event. We’re currently exploring our protocols to make sure that we can expand them, and make sure that this isolated incident doesn’t get repeated again.”

“I bet this is a learning incident,” said, referring to the way they searched the campus.

I understand that these school officials are likely trying to do their best in a difficult environment, but I believe they are desensitized and now take the state of violence as an accepted norm.

But we must NOT continue to accept that these lower income neighborhoods be left in the hands of criminals and that personal safety no longer matters.

The signs that many young people in neighborhoods like Richmond, California have given up are clear.

A comment on the ABC post reveals statistics from the Richmond public high school. In this school where 75% of students qualify for free lunch, only 3% of students passed their Algebra tests and 12% passed their English tests. 50% of students at Richmond public high school drop out and never graduate.

I tend to think it’s no wonder so many Richmond high kids don’t value themselves enough to finish high school. We as a country prove to them daily that their lives are not important enough to protect.

I know this appalling crime is a result of many complicated issues… but still…

There is NO EXCUSE!

Yes, it’s a poor district. Yes, it’s a rough neighborhood. Yes, security is expensive.

I don’t care. None of it is any excuse. All kids deserve to be SAFE. Especially on school grounds!!! I don’t care what neighborhood a child lives in, they deserve to be SAFE. And until this country really, really believes that, these crimes will continue to happen.

We’re sending kids out into gang ruled war zones every day and it’s just accepted. It’s a rough neighborhood. I say treat it like the WAR that it is and FIX it!!!

Every child deserves to be SAFE. Yes, even in that part of town!

 
Written by Susan, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom
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Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

1 brandy October 28, 2009 at 5:31 am

They announced there will be at least 20 arrests, 10 who were involved and 10 who watched without calling police. This is so disgusting. the school is should be at fault too. how did the teachers, not care what was going on. When you see a majority of students leave you investigate. I bet they have the “no snitch” policy in that area and that why no one said anything. oh that irks me.

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2 Rob October 28, 2009 at 6:45 am

I did not hear about this and wish I didn’t. Society is so messed up that this kind of stuff happens period let alone to a 15 yr old girl. School officials don’t seem to care either did students who stood around and watched. What the hell. If my kids witnessed that and didn’t call I would be devastated and disappointed. This is ashame and now this young girl has to live with this forever.

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3 Dawn October 28, 2009 at 7:06 am

I hadn’t heard about it either, but I don’t have TV service (no cable, nothing). So I typically hear about horrendous things like this through my chosen media – blogs.

It IS horrendous to think that NO ONE could be bothered to report this. It IS horrendous to think that those little bastards doing the rape & beating thought it was OK TO DO IT.

It IS horrendous that those “officials” didn’t even bother to comment on the fact that it was HORRENDOUS. Perhaps if it had been their daughter?

Grr.

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4 Melanie October 28, 2009 at 7:22 am

This is sooo sad.

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5 Kristie October 28, 2009 at 7:31 am

This is so awful.

And I do believe that because this is a poor girl in a poor school, the officials assumed it would just go away.

Let’s all just keep looking the other way as our kids continue to be fed the garbage that desensitizes them into thinking horrible things like this are alright.

I’m so sick about this, going to pray.

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6 Amys blah, blah, blogging October 28, 2009 at 8:04 am

I purposely don’t watch the news because it gets me so upset I can’t sleep. Stories like this are just all too common these days. I can’t imagine what this girl’s parents, let alone SHE, must be going through. We should be enraged, there is absolutely no excuse for what happened, nor the reaction that has come from the school. I hope Gov. Schwarzenegger and Pres. Obama are listening too.

Sadly, these things don’t just happen in poor neighborhoods, they go on in the wealthy as well. I think you hit a nail when you said desensitization. It is certainly a problem with so many of our youth. The statistics of how many murders/crimes they see on TV by the time they are five is astounding. And don’t get me started on video games.

Something definitely needs to change.

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7 Melissa Multitasking Mama October 28, 2009 at 8:07 am

I completely agree with you. As parents we also need to talk to our children (age appropriately) of course about what it means to “just look on” as one news outlet reported it when something horrendous like that is taking place. The desensitization is more than scary, it is WRONG!!

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8 CR October 28, 2009 at 8:23 am

What I’m afraid of is the victim blaming that has/will ensue. As someone who works on this issue daily it saddens me to hear this story. No one deserves to be rape, beaten EVER!

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9 Serendipity is Sweet October 28, 2009 at 8:24 am

That is absolutely horrendous! I feel ill just thinking about it and can’t imagine how anyone could watch that let alone experience it.

The statements from the school are almost as shocking! How are we do expect our youth to behave when they are so undervalued?!

I agree about desensitization. At least the watchers are being arrested as well as the perpetrators. Everyone in that community should be outraged! I am and I live 3000 miles away.

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10 Angie October 28, 2009 at 9:02 am

I hadn’t heard about this! Thanks for opening our eyes! What a shame! I really hate how they act like it’s okay! As a victim of sexual assault myself, they always seem to turn it around and make it seem like it’s the girl’s fault. How sad.

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11 jenna October 28, 2009 at 9:23 am

That poor girl. I can not put into words my thoughts right now. The lack of support she and her family must be experiencing at this time. Wow. Our society needs a kick.

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12 Heather October 28, 2009 at 9:26 am

This is an atrocious crime that shows the even more atrocious state of our culture. And yet, It’s just accepted as the norm.

And the buck gets passed onto someone else…

I love this post. You said everything I thought, and quite eloquently :)

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13 Thena October 28, 2009 at 10:21 am

I caught part of it on the news last night. My understanding that the security officers left around 9:00. Why have them if they weren’t going to stay until the end. Why were these kids allowed outside without knowing where they were going> It’s so ridiculous. I don’t condon an eye for an eye. But this is one time I pray she and her parent’s speak out and keeps speaking out until something is done to make sure nothing like this happens again.

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14 Wendy October 28, 2009 at 10:27 am

That school district spokesman should be fired. IT HAPPENED ON SCHOOL GROUNDS! How can you tell me the school has no part of the responsibility for this? Think about it..the victim left the dance at, what, 9:30? And this went on for 2 1/2 hours? But no one noticed the crowd of people? Please.

I guarantee you, if it were his daughter, he’d be singing a different tune altogether.

Everything about this is tragically sad, sickening, and infuriating.

I’m gonna go hug my 15yo daughter now.

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15 Sharon October 28, 2009 at 10:41 am

How can we email or get a hold of Marin Trujillo? I saw his comments about the dance being a “success” and was outraged, too. He cannot be allowed to pretend this wasn’t horrific and just sweep it under the rug.

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16 Steph October 28, 2009 at 11:23 am

I read about this story yesterday. It made me sick to my stomach. And the fact that the school district is trying to skirt around the rape is disgusting.

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17 Stacey October 28, 2009 at 11:25 am

In the part of the interview I saw with the school official, he said, “There’s only so much we can do.” Having lived near Richmond and been through there many times, I understand (to an extent) how completely disheartened that community is at trying to make changes there. It’s just so, so sad, all of it.

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18 Henrietta October 28, 2009 at 11:28 am

This is just why i don’t watch the news much anymore. I can’t believe that this was ALLOWED to happen! And on school property! I see absolutely no reason why the security guard wasn’t there until the end, security should be the very last to leave events such as this, especially if the neighborhood is not good!

This sickens me and disgusts me! I can’t understand how people can just not give a damn about each other, a simple phone call if you don’t want to get involved!!

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19 Katja of Skimbaco October 28, 2009 at 11:36 am

Thank you for bringing this to our attention (I saw your tweets already yesterday too). It is so sad, so sick and so horrendous. I can not believe that it happened, but what is almost more unbelievable is the lack of responsibility taken of it. People need to understand that this is not just a case of a handful of wrong-doers, this is case shows what kind of deep problems we have in our society. Sad, sad, sad.

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20 Susie's Homemade October 28, 2009 at 11:37 am

It IS a national character flaw that we allow this to happen!! And it is just getting worse! When are we going to take our country back?

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21 Jessica Harwood October 28, 2009 at 11:38 am

Wow. I don’t know what to say – it’s all been said already. How sad that no one did anything . . . how appalling that officials are so apathetic . . . how heart wrenching that a young girl went through something so horrific. I can completely agree with your choice of words, Susan – “I’m Enraged!”

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22 Sara Broers October 28, 2009 at 11:45 am

Very good post! Our schools in the United States need to be revamped PERIOD. People need to accept the fact that schools need to change- but people do not like change. Very sick, very disheartening. I thought of this yesterday, as this story evolved- This girl has a Mother and these rapists have a Mother, also. Very, very sad………….Our society is sick-

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23 Jill C. of Cool Photo Ideas October 28, 2009 at 11:45 am

This is truly a sad statement to our society and youth….but to have a school official say that the “dance was a success” in terms of safety is just appalling….if that was my daughter you can bet my mouth would be heard…and LOUDLY! So their daughter has this horrific crime happen…and then have the school officials make it sound like NOTHING happened…I just do not get it.

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24 Dawn October 28, 2009 at 11:48 am

Amen, Susan. When I heard about this, the first thing that went through my mind was “desensitization.” Until we stop treating violence as entertainment, children (and adults) will continue to be desensitized to violence. These children and young adults are bombarded with violent images every single day. It’s accepted and acceptable. Parents are the only ones that can change this trend. What are we allowing our sons to watch on TV, music videos, movies and video games? What are we watching ourselves? Lead by example. Violence is not entertainment.

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25 TheThriftyMama October 28, 2009 at 11:49 am

Well said girl! I am appalled that so many stood around and watched, without calling the police. This is an obvious example that TV and movies have desensitized our children.
It reminds me of that story of a woman screaming in the streets for help when she was being mugged and murdered. Over 20 pple heard her and no one called the police.
It’s time we start taking responsibility. Stop watching so much crap on TV, and start looking out for other human beings. Imagine if it was your own daughter out there in the streets screaming, then you might actually pick up the phone and call for help.

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26 Elizabeth October 28, 2009 at 11:53 am

I literally have avoided this story, because it just makes me so sick. It’s just disgusting. Horrible. Awful. Enraging.

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27 Anonymous October 28, 2009 at 11:55 am

If this were MY daughter, I would have been there to pick her up at 9:00 when the dance was over… It all goes back to parenting.

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28 Will Blog For Shoes October 28, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Speechless.

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29 Dr Mom Online October 28, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Unbelievable. It really evokes a visceral response… deep, utter disgust. There’s no explanation or possible justification for this.

Someone said this type of behavior and attitude is “a national flaw”. I wholeheartedly agree. We’re so desensitized on SO many levels… whether it’s drugs (including prescribed), violence, infidelity… strange and frightening times.

Time to pray… HARD.

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30 Audrey October 28, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I am outraged. Regardless of where you live and the color of your skin (rich, poor, black, white) you should have the RIGHT to be SAFE. PERIOD.

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31 Brooke Lorren October 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm

So do YOU know the whole story? Do you know that it was possible for the parent to be there at the end of the dance? Perhaps the parent had to work.

I’m sure that the parent is kicking him or herself now; no need to beat the parents up any further.

What happened was a terrible thing; we shouldn’t forget that it was the fault primarily of the people that did it, and secondary at fault are the people that sat by and watched. Other people’s actions (or inactions) did contribute, but they didn’t cause it.

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32 Lisa October 28, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Disgusting that a human being can even think of doing something like this to another human being, regardless of their upbringing… it’s called morals and so many of the children in our society are not raised with them. So incredibly sad for this 15 year old girl… her life will NEVER be the same again for so many reasons.

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33 hotpantsâ„¢ October 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm

The school spokesperson is worried about being sued instead of wshowing sensitivity. How are those statements supposed to make female students feel safe?

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34 Tammy October 28, 2009 at 12:55 pm

I also seen where that school has a 69% truency rate and 19 student murders last year. Can you imagine? I sure can’t. This is almost unbelievable but what is worse it that it has been plastered all over the news and this poor girl has to deal with all the publicity nationwide along with everything else. Therapy is definitely needed there. Sad Sad Sad!!!!

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35 AJ Collins October 28, 2009 at 12:58 pm

This is horrifying. The response of the students is appalling, the response of the administrators was not outraged enough from my point of view. It’s disturbing how 10 kids could be involved in something like this, it’s like a pack of wolves. Where are THOSE kids parents?!

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36 Alyssa October 28, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Hey Anonymous,
We’re all glad to know that you’re absolutely perfect & there are no car accidents, flat tires, or any other things that could prevent you from getting to the dance RIGHT AT 9:00, when it ended. FYI-it has been stated that the girl’s father was looking for her while this was going on. Before you cast judgment on her parents, at least be brave enough to post your name.

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37 Mama Zen October 28, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I’m in shock.

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38 Mama Plays Mozart October 28, 2009 at 1:59 pm

This is so upsetting. The de-sentization of violent and sexual behavior among today’s.youth is especially disturbing.

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39 Bess October 28, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Oh my word, how disgusting and absolutely enraging! More needs to happen than just arrests and jail time…how can this community, this school district change for the better? Obviously by getting rid of that school official who truly does not care about children, to start. But more needs to be done…more needs to happen to bring true healing to all involved.

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40 pickel October 28, 2009 at 2:34 pm

MSNBC quoted that she was highly intoxicated. So if that is the case the school is accountable. She most likely drank at the event, right?

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41 Staci A October 28, 2009 at 10:52 pm

You’re right in saying there is no excuse. There is no reason things like this should happen, and especially not on school property. Not in a place where children should feel safe.

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42 Petula October 29, 2009 at 11:05 am

It is bad enough that it happened then to have people sit there and watch it as if they’re at the movies?! Terrible. Sad. With things the way they are now makes me concerned as to what they will be like in the future when my younger children grow up.

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43 Anonymous October 29, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Hey Alyssa,
The bottom line is that parents should make sure their children are safe. I don’t know all the details about the father, but I’m guessing someone wasn’t there to pick her up after the dance was over… just like Somer Thompson’s mother should not have let her children walk a mile home from school everyday. These days parents are too busy with their own agendas, and the children are the ones who suffer.

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44 Brandie November 2, 2009 at 10:28 pm

This is very upsetting to me. My question is what can we as a blogging community do to make a difference here? We are a powerful group lets get together and make a difference now!

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45 Shalvika Sood November 3, 2009 at 7:41 am

I read this on today’s Washington Post and it tackles what most of us have been shocked and enraged about – the kids who just stood there and did nothing!!

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/parenting/2009/11/how_do_you_raise_kids_who_aren.html

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