‘Culture of secrecy’ or societal problem? Questions swirl around De La Salle football in wake of rape arrests


Harmony – As De La Salle High School’s football crew prepares for another championship operate, the school is usually facing tough questions about whether or not it did plenty of to avoid a second alleged sexual assault in under a year involving a student tied to the storied athletic software.

In statements issued this 7 days, leaders of both of those De La Salle and its all-girls sister school situated across the road, Carondelet, maintained they acquire issues surrounding sexual abuse and harassment seriously and are aggressively acting to deal with them with their student bodies. But within a scathing letter provided exclusively to this news organization, the attorney hired from the family of past year’s Carondelet rape target slammed De La Salle for enabling a “shocking culture of acceptance, silence and secrecy.”

The incidents increase questions about whether the disturbing habits is an element of a larger societal trend, as school leaders have instructed, or whether or not the problem is especially acute in just De La Salle’s nationally renowned football software.

“It is that this culture that permits this habits to continue, and is particularly basically passed off as ‘locker room antics’ or ‘boys is going to be boys’ conduct, instead than violent, life-altering sexual assaults,” said Terry Leoni.

Past November, the Carondelet student, represented by Leoni, was raped around the De La Salle campus by a freshman student who had performed football there. The De La Salle student stays in custody in juvenile corridor, in keeping with court information, immediately after a juvenile court located in Could that he had committed the rape.

Leoni said her clientele felt compelled to talk out right after another De La Salle player was arrested on suspicion of raping a Carondelet student in late September, along having a participant from neighboring Ygnacio Valley High School. Each players in that situation have been charged from the District Attorney’s Office.

“My consumers arrived to me simply because they wanted to stop abusers and predators at De La Salle High School, and stop a high school who safeguards them,” Leoni wrote in a statement. She did not give even more information.

De La Salle President Mark DeMarco, in an email statement of his individual, insisted the school is accomplishing no this sort of detail, listing quite a few programs it’s applied with Carondelet throughout the situation of respect for students.

“This is usually a pretty major problem that reaches very well further than our schools. We are dedicated to educating our students on all issues of respect and to reject all kinds of harassment,” he claimed.

DeMarco declined to generate reps in the football method offered for remark, stating all requests should be directed through his office. Other users on the administration and athletic office, such as the head football coach and athletic director, did not respond to requests for remark or emailed questions, which include what steps, if any, have been taken after previous year’s rape to handle such behavior.

Nevertheless, head football coach Justin Alumbaugh and Bob Ladouceur, the famous mentor who constructed this system right into a national power that was highlighted in the 2014 Hollywood film “When the Game Stands Tall,” did talk to United states Today about the scenarios, saying they reflect a societal problem and that the school is performing tricky to teach students to help make suitable decisions.

“There are 1,050 boys here, and it only normally takes 1 to have people say, ‘What are those boys like?’ Ladouceur explained to Usa Today. “Well, each of the boys right here are fairly good youngsters.”

Statistics suggest that sexual assaults are much from rare occurrences among the high school students, and advocates say the status and electric power dynamics that usually accompany athletic programs can feed the problem. Carondelet President Bonnie Cotter identified that approximately 1 in five female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a relationship spouse.

Cotter claimed addressing the issue is usually a priority at Carondelet, and she or he continues to be confident by DeMarco which the exact same is accurate at De La Salle. De La Salle and Carondelet are personal Catholic schools whose student bodies routinely interact.

“We proceed to provide specific programming and open dialogue with our students on numerous issues, which include sexual assault and the way to fortify our culture of regard,” she stated inside a statement. “Much of this conversation is being led by our students who have great ideas for the way to apply favourable change.”

Paul Graves, Contra Costa County senior deputy district attorney, mentioned acquiring two billed rape suspects from exactly the same high school inside of a yr is uncommon, nonetheless it was tough to attract conclusions, because the vast majority of sexual assaults go unreported. He mentioned it absolutely was a good indicator the two Carondelet students spoke out.

“What it does clearly show is we have two incredibly brave young females who were being able to come forward and break that silence against their abusers,” Graves said. “We need to receive away from victim blaming. Quite a bit of women never come ahead, plus the reason they never is mainly because our modern society continue to insists on blaming the victim in these situations and never the abusers.”

Jasmine Uribe, management and engagement manager for Break the Cycle, a national nonprofit that actually works to avoid teen dating abuse and sexual violence, mentioned it can be hard to specify what schools can do to higher cope with circumstances of sexual assault, but prevention is essentially about education. And even though the issue isn’t unique amongst athletes, she mentioned leaders should be cautious about sports environments.

“There is something to state about messaging that is offered to students, young males, early on,” Uribe claimed. “I’ve heard the discussions in high school locker rooms. A great deal of it is far from welcoming to females.”

Inside a situation at Antioch High School final 7 days, quite a few the school’s junior varsity football staff gamers ended up suspended for making “profane, vulgar or sexually explicit comments” to female students, according to the principal, prompting the cancellation of that week’s game.

To regardless of what diploma the sexual assault and harassment epidemic has contaminated football along with other high school sports programs isn’t something the governing entire body for high school sports within the state addresses, said Gil Lemmon, commissioner of your California Interscholastic Federation’s North Coastline Part. It can be nearly schools to self-police.

“NCS does not oversee staff matters, or matters relating to student discipline,” Lemmon said within an email. “Such goods are the responsibility in the school.”

He also pointed out that “De La Salle is an exemplary school, and other than the usual $150 penalty for not actively playing (with) the official football inside a NCS Championship game many years in the past, there have been no sanctions against the school, or probation for any determined infraction.”

Certainly, De La Salle has built a sterling name in new many years close to its powerhouse football method, which set a national document winning streak inside the nineties, is frequently ranked among the very best inside the state and country, and routinely sends players to top-flight college football programs along with the NFL. It’s hardly ever, if at any time, arrive underneath scrutiny for wrongdoing on or from the area.

But Leoni, the rape victim’s lawyer, famous that cases of sexual abuse have become ever more common amongst football gamers in the least levels. She identified that forty four NFL players have been accused of sexual abuse in recent years, and 15 had been arrested on suspicion of violence against girls.

“Clearly, such a abuse is not really merely restricted to Hollywood or perhaps the NFL. It can be right here, within our hometowns, and it are unable to continue,” Leoni wrote. “It seems this actions and culture will carry on right until people today communicate up, and also the abusers and people who protect them are forced to prevent.”

No lawsuit is filed against De La Salle, but Leoni mentioned the family is mulling alternatives.

“My clients are thinking about all of their options at this point, specifically thinking of the lifelong damages brought on by this incident and actions afterward,” Leoni said. “However, as we mentioned, they do choose to be sure that no other innocent woman is put through the exact same trauma. Regrettably, that is not but the situation.”