Alumni from Ocean City High School launched a petition Thursday on Change.org, alleging 50 anonymous accounts of sexual assault, bullying and hate crimes at the school and a decades-long failure by members of the faculty and administration at the school to act to stop it.

Get our free mobile app

The petition urges the State Police, the FBI and the Cape May County's Prosecutor's office to start an investigation into "Ocean City High School's faculty, guidance, and administration for disorderly persons offenses, failure to act, reckless endangerment, child endangerment, wanton endangerment, reckless negligence, gross negligence, neglect of duty, failure to report, complicity/aiding and abetting, and wrongful death due to negligence, as well as any other criminal acts that are discovered within the scope of the investigation."

The petition says "the instances listed are only a few examples of the absolute lack of care that multiple members of Ocean City High School's administration, guidance, and faculty hold for their students."

Here are five examples of the abuse alleged in the petition:

A student was repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped by her abusive boyfriend, who was another student, during her time at Ocean City High School. Several of these assaults happened within the building and on school buses. When found by a teacher during one of the assaults, the teacher called the home of the student and threatened to suspend her for the sexual acts being committed on campus and called her a “bad influence for other children” and “deeply misguided.” When trying to leave her boyfriend, he threatened to murder her friends and family and make the student watch. The student began to self harm and stopped eating due to anxiety. Another student reported the situation to guidance. After meeting with the student about the claims, guidance sent the boyfriend away for three days to a psychiatric hospital. He returned with no penalties and no rules to stay away from the student. He stalked her for several months, leaving notes in her locker and following her between classes. The student felt as though she ran out of options and attempted suicide. Thankfully, she did not succeed.

 

A student who graduated in the 1990s reported that there were numerous sexual assaults committed by teachers against students. She stated that it was a "well known secret," and as you can tell from the rest of the statements included in the petition, the assaults committed by teachers have not lessened in the 25-30 years since this occurred.

 

A teacher committed hate crimes against a Muslim student, and the administration ignored the acts and allowed it to continue. The teacher told the Muslim student that if she was old enough, she would have been flying a plane on 9/11 to kill the Americans in her class, which is considered harassment based on one’s religion and origin, which is therefore legally considered a hate crime. The teacher made many more hateful remarks, including calling the student Muslim slurs and stating that she looks related to the orchestrator of 9/11, Osama bin Laden. The student then committed suicide, and many news articles state that it was because of the relentless bullying she experienced. Administration’s failure to address the bullying, especially when perpetrated by a member of faculty, is a matter of negligence, and as such, her suicide is wrongful death due to negligence. If the hate crimes and harassment were addressed, it may have ended differently. But students were immediately silenced when reporting the harassment.

 

A student transferred out of Ocean City High School because of bullying. The guidance department stated that filing a report against the bullies would do nothing to stop them and that it would only antagonize them. The student was not allowed to file a report, and the guidance counselor only yelled at the student, rather than working to resolve the situation.

 

A student transferred out of Ocean City High School because of bullying. The guidance department stated that filing a report against the bullies would do nothing to stop them and that it would only antagonize them. The student was not allowed to file a report, and the guidance counselor only yelled at the student, rather than working to resolve the situation.

 

The Ocean City Patch reports that the Ocean City Police Department and the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office are reviewing the allegations to determine their origins.

In a statement provided to the Patch, the Ocean City School District said it was not aware of the allegations detailed in the petition prior to its publication on April 22. The petition will be discussed at the Ocean City School Board meeting on Wednesday at 7pm.

Source: Change.org/Ocean City Patch

LOOK: The most famous actress born the same year as you

Many of the actresses in this story not only made a name for themselves through their collection of iconic performances, but also through the selfless, philanthropic nature with which many of them approached their stardom. In an age of flipping the script on societal norms, many of these actresses are using their voices and platforms to be advocates for those who are otherwise unheard.

Atlantic City Country Club: The Club's Beauty & History in Photos