BINGHAMTON, NY – Some students at Chenango Valley High School are protesting a culture of sexual harassment at the school and say the district’s administration is not taking the problem seriously.
At noon, dozens of students walked out of school to express their frustration. Students were covered in paint to symbolize the areas in which they claim to have been touched without their consent.
We spoke with one student who says that as many as twenty people, including male students and staff, have harassed females at the school.
Thursday, May 19, fifteen female students met with CV’s Superintendent, David Gill, to address ongoing incidents of sexual harassment and to deliver a petition seeking a resolution. According to the students, Gill dismissed them from his office without addressing the allegations.
On Friday, Gill released a letter to the district, in which, he mentions meeting with a group of students regarding certain policies and behaviors. The last line of the letter says that the district takes all accusations of bullying or harassment seriously, but that not all resolutions can be shared publicly.
Ellayna Wilbur, a junior at Chenango Valley, involved with organizing the protest, says the students want a lot of change.
Junior at Chenango Valley High School Ellayna Wilbur says, “We want him to do better. He’s our superintendent and the way he treated the situation when we first went to him really hurt a lot of us in ways we didn’t want to be hurt and really just rubbed us the wrong way. My message to him is really just do better, listen to your students, don’t brush them off, don’t do what you did in that meeting, and he knows what he did, I’m not going to say anything more on that, but do better.”
According to one parent of a CV student, the protestors were ushered inside by security and police. Once back in the school, the students were told to wait in the administrative offices in silence.
A letter that was released on Monday, May 23rd says the school is seeking board approval to retain an outside law firm with no prior connection to the district, to conduct an impartial investigation into these issues.