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San Marino HS Did Nothing To Help Debate Student After Rape, Lawsuit Says

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A former debate team student is suing the San Marino Unified School District, saying that her high school's staff did practically nothing when she told them she was raped multiple times by another student.

The woman's lawsuit, which she filed on Friday, is claiming gender discrimination, according to City News Service. She says that when she attended San Marino High School, she began dating another debate team member in October 2011. However, things got violent and her boyfriend began raping her on several occasions before they split up in November 2012, the lawsuit claims.

She says she began talking to school officials—several teachers and a school psychologist—in March 2013 about the rape, but none of them suggested she should go to police with this information. In fact, the suit claims that they acted indifferent and dismissive. One teacher explained rape culture to the young woman and said police wouldn't believe her story, advising her to talk to friends but not go to police about the incident, according to the lawsuit. She says that even though she asked the teacher to help her tell administrators about the rape, the teacher didn't. Another teacher apparently ended up telling the woman's ex-boyfriend what she said about him, and then he told other students that she was "mentally unstable." The lawsuit claims that again and again, the school staff chalked it up to it just being a tough, first-love breakup, and that she just needed some time to heal.

It wasn't until January 2014, over six months after she graduated, that her ex-boyfriend's parents told her parents that the school's vice principal went to her ex-boyfriend's house to talk to his family about the rape allegations, the suit says.

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The school district has not given City News Service a comment about the lawsuit.

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