Norman High School Students, Parents Protest Over Sexual Assault
NORMAN, Oklahoma - Students and parents took to the streets of Norman in a peaceful protest against bullying at Norman High School. It all stems from months of allegations of sexual assaults on three students.
For several hours, crowds of students and parents have been out here in front of Norman High School making their voices heard to stop all forms of victimization at their school. Chanting loud and proud, hundreds of stood in solidarity with the alleged victims of rape.
"My friend was bullied out of school, and I'm here to show support," said protester, Noah Willyard.
There was a sea of signs on Main Street, which was partially blocked off, Monday morning, as students walked out the front doors of Norman High School.
"I'm excused all day, and I think this is a really big deal and not enough people know about it," said Tabitha Carvin, a junior at Norman High.
Many protesters felt the Norman school district did not take appropriate action regarding rape and bullying allegations involving at least three female students, who haven't returned to the school.
A student reported that an 18-year-old male student raped her in September and recorded it. Then two other female students also reported being raped by the same male student.
"Oh it's pretty tough, I mean I can only imagine what she's going through. So I just told her you know that, I was here if she needed anything," said Natalee Lambert, friend of one of the victims.
School officials say they acted swiftly. No arrest has been made, but Norman Police are investigating.
"We did what we could in accordance with law and gave him the harshest punishment which was suspension for the rest of the school year and that was related to the broadcasting of a video," said spokesperson for Norman schools, Shelly Hickman.
"I hope this show of support from the students today reassures those victims that this is a student body that has zero tolerance for this and is standing up in a unified way in saying we're not going to let that happen in our school."
The ‘Yes, All Daughters' movement was started by the victims' friends. They made blue ribbons and scarves.
"We went all out. I have daughters and want them to be safe," said parent, Amber Nell.
Many hoped their daylong demonstration makes a difference.
"I really hope that something gets done from all of this so there is more awareness of what's going on," said Norman High junior, Simone Richardson.
School was is still in session throughout Monday, the protesters handed administrators a list of demands, including more programs and better advocacy, all which the district is considering.
Hickman says a class on education of sexual assaults has been in the works for several months and should be a part of the curriculum by next year.
The Norman High School principal, Hickman and several administrators have received hate mail and threats online, which have been turned over to police.
The Cleveland County DA is working with Norman Police to investigate the allegations.