Our Story

This Could Be Any Family’s Tragedy


The first of many reports about our advocacy

Our entire family life was devastated when our daughter was sexually assaulted by a classmate on a multi-day school field trip. The Seattle Public School District’s failure to recognize her federally mandated Title IX rights guaranteeing an equal education free of sexual harassment, to acknowledge her report of sexual assault as required, to promptly and equitably investigate, to prevent retaliation, and to treat her with basic human dignity has been life-scarring beyond description. 

Our efforts to hold those responsible were met with avoidance, denial, misinformation, falsification, and violations at every juncture. The District’s motto “Everyone Accountable” became a painful and ironic reminder of the treatment our family received. We learned that “Liability before Accountability,” is a far more accurate motto.

The inequitable way in which the District responded to the rape of our daughter caused her to feel utterly devalued as a human being. Not only was she deceived by a classmate who assaulted her in the presence of other students, she was also betrayed by teachers and chaperones who failed to protect female students on the overnight trip. She was further betrayed by her school, which failed to implement the required steps that would have allowed her to continue her education, free of retaliation, after the assault. 

Instead, she was treated like a second-class citizen while a male athlete perpetrator, who had previously been disciplined for sexual misconduct, was allowed to continue his education as a valued member of the school community. This was not the first instance (or the last) that the school failed to provide a safe environment for girls on field trips. Read More

The Motivation to Form Stop Sexual Assault in Schools

After our daughter was raped by a classmate on a multi-day science trip, after we experienced the horrors of sexual assault and its impact upon her education, we were compelled to warn and inform others of the devastation that results when students are assaulted and school districts fail to implement the victim’s federally mandated civil rights.



KIRO-TV investigative report

Although sexual assault in colleges and Title IX are receiving attention in the media, K-12 families everywhere must understand the role of Title IX, particularly as it relates to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and gender discrimination. A victim’s report of persistent sexual harassment/assault must trigger a Title IX investigation: it’s not optional and it must occur regardless of a criminal investigation or criminal findings. Instead, the Seattle School District attempted to shut down our complaint.

Read More

Father’s Personal Account Read to Seattle School Board February 25, 2014

KOMO-TV report


KOMO-TV report

I can’t forget that Wednesday morning when I answered the phone and learned that our daughter had been raped. I was sick to my stomach. When I called her she sounded so dazed and traumatized that I could hardly believe it was the same child who called me the night before, all excited about watching the November election returns.

Not only have we been emotionally scarred as a family, we’ve endured endless frustration in holding the district accountable. Are there any parents who would not want an answer as to why their child was allowed to be sexually assaulted on a school field trip? Like the other ecology class parents, we entrusted the care of our child to the adults on this trip. They utterly betrayed our trust us by failing to perform their responsibilities, and yet no one has held them accountable. Read More

See more media reports on our work