NYT admits it was a false rape accusation in the 23rd paragraph
Lawrenceville student commits suicide after school allows a false RAPE charge to spread.
From today’s New York Times:
The shocking story begins with 22 paragraphs of irrelevant nonsense, such as:
«The school committed to taking a series of corrective actions including endowing a new dean’s position that will be focused on mental health issues, with a goal of becoming a model for anti-bullying and student mental health. …
… the culture of a private institution where room and board tops $76,000 a year….
Richard Lieberman, the lead suicide prevention expert for the public school system in Los Angeles …
The investigation included interviews with 45 students, faculty members and others …
Lawrenceville’s statement said that its settlement with the Reids was aimed at “honoring Jack …
The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated an already worrying mental health emergency among teenagers…
Christine Yu Moutier, chief medical officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said the causes of suicide were always complex …
Lawrenceville enrolls about 830 students on a spacious campus in western New Jersey …
Only deep into the story do we FINALLY get to the reason the student committed suicide:
But in the spring of 2021, a persistent and untrue rumor that Jack was a rapist spread widely throughout the student body and led to cruel comments from some students, according to his parents.
In September 2021, when he returned to school as a junior, he was nonetheless elected president of Dickinson House, one of the residential houses where the school’s boarding students live. That appears to have increased animosity among some of his classmates and caused the rumor to spread further, his parents said.
A few days after the election, the unfounded rape accusation was posted anonymously to a nationwide, student-run app popular with boarding-school students, Jack’s parents said.
The bullying spread quickly online, his parents said, and at Christmastime, during a secret Santa gift exchange among Lawrenceville classmates, Jack received a rape whistle and a book about how to make friends.
Mr. Reid recalled that his son was hurt deeply, and that when Jack came home for Christmas he seemed withdrawn. “Dad, will this ever go away?” he said his son asked him, “Will it ever get off the website?”
Mr. Reid noted that the in-person bullying at school combined with the power of the internet posting compounded the rumor’s impact.
“We think bullying, with the 1,000 times echo chamber of the internet and everybody knowing, is much more devastating to kids and, in Jack’s case, produced a very impulsive act,” he said. “He had to escape the pain from the humiliation he was feeling.”
Early on, with support from his parents, Jack approached school officials and asked them to intervene, leading to a school-led investigation surrounding the bullying and the sexual assault allegation.
The school inquiry found that the claim was bogus, and a classmate involved in spreading the rumors, who was later expelled for an unrelated violation of school rules, was formally disciplined for bullying Jack, according to the school’s statement.
But Lawrenceville never told Jack or his family — or anyone else — that the investigation had concluded that the rumors involving a sexual assault were utterly false.
“There were steps that the school should in hindsight have taken but did not, including the fact that the school did not make a public or private statement that it investigated and found rumors about Jack that were untrue,” Lawrenceville said in the statement.
Would a false accusation of cheating, stealing or fighting be allowed to continue, without correction by the school, as long as this false accusation of rape?
As we learned from the false rape accusations against Duke lacrosse players and University of Virginia fraternity members, in academia, even false charges of rape deserve respect.