Rape culture paper causes stir at Grant High School - KPTV - FOX 12

Rape culture paper causes stir at Grant High School

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Several students, parents, and alumni of Grant High School in Portland are upset over a paper handed out to students questioning rape culture.

The paper, which parents say was handed out to some freshman students, was posted on social media and has gained national attention.

In the three-page document handed out by teacher David Lickey, it reads in part: “Rape culture is a theoretical construct that is ill defined. What exactly is ‘rape culture’? I don’t see it in my life or the lives of any of the men and women I have known.”

“It is disturbing in general,” said Grant High parent Audrey Goldfarb. 

She says her daughter attends Grant High and was appalled to know that such a paper would be handed out.

“It is just preposterous because it is all around him and he doesn’t know about it, then that is a problem,” Goldfarb said.

Others have taken to social media to voice their opinions.

“I’m trying to prevent other women from dealing with what I did when I was 15 years old, a student at Grant High School. Your letter is dangerous,” former student Madison Moskowitz said in a response video. “Mr. Lickey, rape culture isn’t dubious, rape culture is everywhere.”

However, some parents were cautious about the paper being handed out, telling FOX 12 Sunday they wanted to know about the story.  

Several wanted to know why the paper was handed out: Was it to get a reaction or was this a lesson in looking at alternative viewpoints?

Grant High School Principal Carol Campbell addressed the issues in an email to parents, writing:

Dear Grant Community:

You may be aware of an unfortunate incident regarding a document written by a teacher and shared with students regarding "rape culture."  It included some statements that run counter to the way we approach this important subject. The perspective of the teacher does not reflect nor support our approach to educating students on sexual assault.  A strong contradictory argument should be accompanied by counter arguments from credible sources.  In this case, the document was shared with many students and staff with very little context. We apologize for any harm or negative impact.  We are working with students and some staff members to organize listening sessions and opportunities for adults and students to get support. It is our primary goal to ensure Grant is a safe place for all.

FOX 12 reached out to Lickey for his side of the story but he has yet to respond for comment.

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