This happened in 2008 back when I lived in LA and attended an “alternative” middle school. They use the word “alternative” in LA to suggest uniqueness, but really it means “easy.” This alternative middle school had no grades, no homework, and we had talking circles instead of punishments when a problem occurred. Also, every year we had to take a “eurhythmy” class where everyone, including the boys, danced around in slippers and silk and acted out poetry through dance sign language.
For all the reasons stated above, the number of kids in a given grade fluctuated between 20 and 3. From the time I attended that school—5th through 8th grade—only one other girl remained a constant in that class. Her name was Samantha, and she was a fat, blind, retarded lesbian girl.
According to her grandmother, Samantha was born five months prematurely, which is why she had disabilities (an allegation I didn’t think to question at the time). She was blind in one eye and could partially see with the other. She wasn’t officially retarded; she was just a bit off. The only thing she ever wore were neon running suits, and her greasy hair was always slicked back into a tight ponytail. Her posture and facial expressions were that of a sassy black woman. Her black beady pupils took up all the space in her tiny eyeholes, making it impossible to know where she was looking. She was also a total asshole.
Normally, a girl like her would be bully bait, but since everyone was decent to her, she sort of took on the role of the bully herself. Her disabilities actually enabled her to act aggressively toward everyone without getting in any real trouble. Teachers would tell us to be especially patient with her because of her “differences.”
The problems with her started in 8th grade, which started off with only three kids: a boy, Samantha, and I. Because she had been at the school the longest, Samantha had the most social control. She was into Naruto and fanfiction, and she started asking me and the other girl to play along in her fantasies. We didn’t mind the show, so we played along. Soon, the character plots veered away from the show and into the stuff she read in fanfics, which was creepy as fuck. She told us her character was in love with our characters and telling us the strange sexual things she wanted to do with our characters. (I absolutely believe fanfictions can fuck a person up way more than hardcore porn.) Soon after, the boy in our class left and we were joined by a new girl, so me and the girl stopped playing along with Samantha’s creepy fantasies. No longer able to mask her intents with fiction, Samantha told us she how she was pretty sure she was a lesbian and that she wanted to have sex with us. Upon our saying no, she just went into further detail about what she wanted to do with us. The more we resisted, the more aggressive she became. She made explicit comments about our bodies and attempted to grab at us a few times. Getting fed up, me and my friend told the principal, who listened but did absolutely nothing.
A couple months later, my mother had a Christmas party at our house. Everyone but one of the new girls from our class went. We were all sequestered into my bedroom. While the parents socialized outside, Samantha took this opportunity to attack. She began trying to guilt-trip us into making out with her, saying she needed to do this in order to know whether she was gay or not, and if we didn’t comply, we were going to make her more confused. She whined about how hard the uncertainty was and how she can never know who she really is if she didn’t “test it out” with us first. We kept refusing, so she got mad. She cornered me, told me to close my eyes, and kissed me. That was my first kiss and also the worst couple seconds of my life. It was the gentleness that made it so terrible. Many women find male sexual aggression to be sexy, but no one finds forced tenderness attractive. It’s creepy and in a way pedophilic.
Afterwards, she threatened to tell her grandmother we were bullying her if we left the room. My mother had warned me about how I must treat Samantha kindly, so I didn’t leave. She went on to go after the other girls, so we all hid under my bedcovers. We thought we might be safe here, as she was partially blind, but she found us. She jumped on top of the bed and pinned us under the covers, allowing one girl to escape. She began to hump us, giggling and groping. I remember I could smell her from under there. She always smelled like dried blood. I became nauseous and the other girl began to cry. When Samantha was done, she went under the covers and felt up the crying girl. After this, the crying girl left the room and made her mother take her home. I stayed in my room until Samantha was taken away. I didn’t tell my mother out of embarrassment. The whole thing felt wrong.
After winter break, Samantha came back to school her usual chipper self. The rest the class was still pissed off at her. After the advice of the one girl not at the party (a “tough girl” who had been doing Ecstasy since the sixth grade), we decided to tell the teacher and our parents. The teacher made us talk about this in a talking circle. We had to pass around a talking stone and everyone had to wait their turn to talk. We had to be open and respectful to everyone’s feelings, which meant we had to sit quietly while Samantha whimpered about how she did nothing wrong because she was “confused.”
The parent meeting about this situation had to be handled the same way: Pass the stone around and vent your feelings. My mother told me most parents and the teachers all agreed we had to be extra sensitive to Samantha’s situation. Even with all their open-minded bullshit, Samantha’s grandmother yelled at all the parents, claiming this was an attack on Samantha because she was a lesbian. Both of these talking circles proved to be hippie bullshit that accomplished nothing, so my class went to the principal. She gave us the same shit about how we had to be considerate of Samantha’s circumstances and how the whole ordeal was “he said, she said,” even though Samantha admitted to what she did. Not more than a week later, Samantha attacked our teacher, grabbing her tits in front of two faculty members. She was immediately kicked out and forced to do her schoolwork at home.
Schools are often thought to overreact to any suggestive behavior by students (i.e., getting kicked out for making a Pop-Tart gun), but they underreact when the perpetrator is part of any “oppressed group.”
A similar case happened with the kids of a friend of mine (yes, most of my friends are in their 30s—THANKS, SAMANTHA). This girl was put on a bully watch list for jokingly excluding a friend, yet when that same girl came home covered in bruises, the school did nothing because the boy who beat her up was black and they were afraid to be accused of racism.
I’m not one to prove points through anecdotal evidence, but there’s no way to measure cases like these through statistics, as they are the cases that are NOT being reported.
This is one of the dangers of oversensitivity and political correctness. There is more media outrage when a school does something deemed racist or sexist or homophobic than there is when other students abuse kids in that school. If schools are called racist for suspending more black kids than white kids, wouldn’t that school be less likely to take action on a black student even if he does pose a threat to others? Because of today’s obsession with sensitivity and equality, schools now put political correctness over the actual safety of their kids. “Girl Expelled for Being Lesbian” makes a more damning headline than “Local Kids Felt Up by Fat Semi-Tard.”
I’m sure the school would have done something about Samantha as soon as she attempted to molest anyone had she been an able-bodied boy, but unfortunately for the 8th-grade class, she fit a social-justice vision of a perfect human. Despite the double standard in punishment, the Samantha experience would not have been worse if she was a boy. That gut feeling of violation doesn’t care about privilege or oppression. Being touched by a creep sucks no matter their gender. Luckily, I’m completely over it today. The only “trigger” I got from this experience is a slight aversion to incestuous Naruto fanfiction. As for Samantha, she probably has a Tumblr blog where she rants about how a bunch of heteronormative ableists got her expelled for experimenting with her sexuality.