Lansing Catholic female students claim sexual harassment, anonymous letter claims

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THURSDAY, Feb. 27 — A group of female students at Lansing Catholic High School are claiming they are being sexually harassed by school employees, according to a letter that says it was written by the students.

The anonymous letter, which was sent by email today to City Pulse and other media outlets, says, “We are being harassed, embarrassed and demeaned based on how our uniforms fit our bodies. We are ogled, stared at and inspected on a daily basis by both male and female staff.”

A call to the school for comment has not yet been returned.

The letter says in full:

“We are a group of Lansing Catholic High School students, across all grades, who are writing to our local media for help. We are writing anonymously because we fear retaliation from our school should they become aware of us as individuals (but there are over 40 of us writing). We are asking for your help. There is sexual harassment by our staff occurring at our school against the females.

We are being harassed, embarrassed and demeaned based on how our uniforms fit our bodies. We are ogled, stared at and inspected on a daily basis by both male and female staff.

We are absolutely not opposed to wearing a uniform, but on a daily basis the female students are made to feel uncomfortable about how they look in these uniforms. The staff makes insensitive remarks and embarrasses us. They sometimes make us line up or spin around so they can look at us. They have an "assessment line" we have to go through to go to events like dances. They have gone as far as making us put on football jerseys if they don't approve of how we look in our clothes. They judge the size of our breasts and for the young ladies who are more developed, they are scrutinized even more.

Many of us don't want to go to school anymore. We don't want to talk to our teachers. It's such a distraction that it's difficult to learn anything right now. We truly feel this is impacting the mental health of many students. They make the females in our school feel like there is something wrong with us. We love our school and don't want to go anywhere else, but this is getting unbearable.

Many parents have written to and met with the school administration and they do nothing. There is a Board of Trustees Meeting on the calendar for Thursday, Feb. 27 and they may discuss this issue, but we are not sure. We heard there was a letter sent to the board members informing them of the harassment and we are praying they listen. However, these meetings are closed and not open to anyone other than the administration and the Board of Trustees.

This just started to happen in the last couple of months and we don't understand why. We feel like we don't have a voice even though we have tried because, as parochial school students, we have very little power. We are simply told this is not a democracy. We are hoping by writing to the media, someone may at least investigate and make some calls on our behalf before this leads to something more serious. We are really desperate for outside help because we feel this is so wrong and if it happened anywhere other than a Catholic school, it would not be tolerated.

Our leaders need to be held accountable for their actions and awful behavior. In 2020 girls should not have to worry about feeling safe and secure in their schools.

Thank you!”

The Lansing Catholic High School Board of Trustees meets tonight at 5:30 p.m. in room 104. 

UPDATE:

A City Pulse reporter attempted to attend the Board of Trustees meeting mentioned above in the letter. A school official said that the meeting was closed to the media.

When asked if she had read the letter, the official responded, “No comment.” The reporter was then asked to leave the premises.

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ReaderJKS

This is not a new problem at LCHS. My daughters attended a few years ago and were subjected to similar treatment. The dress code was enforced against the girls, but not the boys. Girls skirts were eyeballed and determined to be acceptable or unacceptable. I regularly witnessed boys without belts and droopy pants. Adding to the problem was the requirement that the uniforms be purchased at one single location only. Not sure why a khaki skirt or pants sold (at a significant markup) by a favored parishioner was any different than the ones from Lands End, Target or any other store. I personally witnessed on the spring break mission field trip girls being shamed for wearing shorts in church (after a lengthly car trip) while no comment made to the boys also wearing shorts.

Friday, February 28

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