When I was in the 10th grade, there was a boy in my class that always made sexual comments about my body and would pull my hair or lean over me. He made me incredibly uncomfortable. Be it talking about what it would be like to stick objects inside of my private area, watching and showing me porn with the volume on, or shaking his rear-end in front of my face and asking me if it jiggled, I always told him he made me uncomfortable and told him to stop. I told my teacher, but nothing ever happened.
One day, he spent a solid 10 minutes of class just masturbating while looking at me. On that day, I decided I had enough and reported him to my school counselor. After I filled out an incident report, he was called into the principal’s office during class and interviewed. When he returned, he was angry and I was terrified, but I tried not to show my trembling hands because I didn’t want him to blame me since I was promised by my school that I could report anonymously. Since he sat at my table due to assigned seating, I could hear him telling his friend that he wanted to hurt whoever reported him.
Later, his friend, who is also a friend of mine, texted me and told me that he figured out it was me that reported him because my principal told him that it was me. When he was speaking in class, he said all of that in order to make me fear him. I was furious at my principal for lying to me and terrified the kid was going to hurt me.
When it came time for the principal to talk to me, he accused me of “fabricating a harassment story” which is “a very serious offense.” Just as he pulled out the forms to expel me from school, my mother came into the room. He forced me out of the room so he could talk to my mother in private, which made me angry because it was me who was in the situation and I felt I had a right to know what else I was being accused of.
My mother told me everything he said. He told her I lied because I was supposedly in love with the boy’s girlfriend, which made me even angrier because not only was that a complete lie, but he easily could have outed me with that remark had I not come out to my mother already (I was out as Bisexual at school before I was at home).
The principal told her that if my story was true, she was a horrible mother for allowing me to be harassed (which is a lie because I begged my mother not to do anything about it out of fear of the boy retaliating against me) and made it clear he did not believe a word of my harassment story. He claimed that if it were true, then I would have said something sooner, which made me angry because I told my teacher throughout the year that I needed her help. When my mother retaliated saying she knows I told my teacher, he told my mother that the teacher had no clue I was having issues, which was also a lie because when my teacher found out I reported the boy, she came to me crying and told me she was sorry for not protecting me sooner because she knew all along what he was doing but didn’t know how to stop him.
I am thankful that my mother believed me and defended me, which prevented me from being expelled; however, I am angry that my principal lied about me to protect the boy due to his homophobia and the fact the boy scores higher on exams, which makes him more of a priority for the school to keep around. I am also angry that it’s on my permanent record that I lied to an official about a legal case, which will make me look like I have bad character when I apply for colleges. I am also fearing going back to school this next year because the boy was told that it was me who reported him.
Once I am in a position to do so, I hope to work with other powerful women to make sure this never happens to anyone else. I don’t want people to fear seeking help out of fear that what happened to me will happen to them. I want women to know that they are strong, and that I will always believe them.