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Letter: No Means No, Doesn’t It?

To the Editor:

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” Elie Wiesel shared this truth with the world when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. How many people in Hanover and the surrounding towns will stand against injustice?

On Friday morning, the Upper Valley awoke to find an article in the Valley News reporting that the principal of Hanover High School and various parents took issue with a police report regarding the now infamous skits performed by several members of Hanover’s football team. By my reading, they appear to lay blame at the feet of law enforcement and accuse them, for all intents and purposes, of lying in the report.

In truth, several Hanover students created and took part in skits that were worse than a mistake. They were, at the very least, shameful. Many of us were startled by a mind-numbing stereotype — the idea that the fictitious girl in the skit “wanted it.” While not couched in eloquent terms and the dulcet tones of Hanover, that ultimately is the implication. The fictitious girl refused to have sex with a boy and five more boys came and ... whatever term you choose to describe what happened in the skit. If she refused, it doesn’t matter if one says she was “banged” or “raped” or a word that’s less crude or describes an act that’s not criminal. No means no, doesn’t it?

If the girl weren’t fictitious and we were in a court of law, someone would argue that the defense re-victimized the victim. Regardless, law enforcement is being blamed for the transgressions of Hanover High students. Again. In reality, the students in question chose to take part in vile skits and what I regard as hazing. The story begins and ends there. Perpetuating harmful stereotypes and pointing accusatory fingers at local law enforcement screams of injustice. I protest.

Shannon Hurd

Lebanon

Related

Parents, Principal Dispute Description of Skit as ‘Gang Rape’

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hanover — Parents and the principal of Hanover High School are disputing the use of the words “gang rape” in a police report that described skits performed at an off-campus gathering by members of the school’s football team, which was later reprimanded. Norwich Police Chief Doug Robinson said he based his report on an investigation by school administrators, who spoke …