Elementary School Principal gets community service in connection to Steubenville rape case
Katie Hanna, Executive Director
Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV)
email; Phone: 216-469-2511
Tracy Cox, Communications Director
National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)
email; Phone: 877-739-3895, Ext. 116
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Elementary School Principal Lynette Gorman was in Steubenville Municipal Court today, where she agreed to community service in lieu of a conviction on one misdemeanor count of failing to report child abuse or neglect.
According to a statement issued by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the misdemeanor charge will be dismissed by June 1, if Gorman successfully completes 40-hours of community service at a rape crisis center or victim service organization, speaks to other teachers and administrators in the Steubenville City School District about the importance of reporting child abuse and neglect, and encourages the School Board to have a speaker from the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV) come to Steubenville schools in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Gorman is one of six people indicted by the special grand jury. The indictment stemmed from a reported sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl by a group of baseball players at a coach’s house in April 2012. This is a separate incident from the one in which two Steubenville High School football players were found delinquent in March 2013 of raping a 16-year-old girl during the summer of 2012. According to Ohio law, all school employees, including teachers and administrators, are required to report actual or suspected abuse or neglect of any individual under age 18, which includes sex offenses.
OAESV, along with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), firmly believes sexual violence committed against anyone must be taken seriously. Teens and young children rely on school administrators, teachers, and coaches to provide a safe environment for learning. Katie Hanna, Executive Director of OAESV, states, “Preventing sexual violence takes an entire community: from teachers, administrators, coaches and parents, all coming together to prevent these crimes from occurring in the first place; and being there to provide support after someone has been sexually assaulted. The Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence looks forward to partnering with Steubenville City Schools this April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, as a first step in working together to support survivors and prevent sexual violence. We hope to build sustained prevention programming in Steubenville City Schools through our partnership with the local rape crisis program.”
“Every adult and institution has a responsibility for preventing sexual abuse. The safety of our children needs to be our highest priority,” says NSVRC Director Karen Baker. OAESV and NSVRC advocate for comprehensive responses and rape crisis services, and empower communities to prevent sexual violence. We support best practices and community-based efforts to address sexual violence that support survivors, protect children, and hold adults accountable.
The focus must shift to preventing these crimes. This April, NSVRC leads the national campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which raises awareness about sexual violence and helps educate communities and individuals on how to prevent it. The 2014 campaign, It’s time … to talk about it. Your voice. Our future, focuses on healthy adolescent sexuality, and includes resources for adults. To download information, visit www.nsvrc.org/saam. Additionally in April, OAESV will be launching a teen bystander intervention video and discussion guide for teachers and prevention specialists to use in schools and communities.