From what I’ve read about this story, Kate (as she’s known to her friends) seems to be a good student – cheerleading, basketball, chorus, good grades, and was even voted ‘most school spirit’.
However instead of preparing for graduation and life beyond high school, she’s fighting a battle against expulsion and bigotry. She’s been charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 – 16 years of age, and may go to jail instead of college.
Why? All because she was dating a 15 year old girl she’d met on the basketball team.
According to the above article:
‘..the relationship caused waves at the school from the start. Kaitlyn was dropped from the basketball team because the coach feared a same-sex relationship would bring unwanted “drama.”
‘Then the family was shocked and devastated when police came to their home in February to arrest Kaitlyn. She was charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 – 16 years of age.
‘Kaitlyn was 18 and her 15-year-old girlfriend’s parents pressed charges.’
That’s right, boys and girls. Instead of dealing with the fact that their 15 year old daughter was dating another girl, they instead lashed out and are trying to ruin Kate’s life. All because they’re too closed minded to realise that their daughter likes another girl.
Initially the other family petitioned the school and got Kate expelled weeks before graduation, but a judge agreed she could return as long as she didn’t have contact with the other girl.
However she is still facing these charges, though was offered a plea-bargain – house arrest for two years, plus a year of probation. Meaning, if she’d accept it, she’d have to hold off entering the next stage of her life, and the charges would stay on her permanent adult record.
This is completely and utterly wrong on many different levels. Regardless if Kate is 18 years old or not, she’s still a kid in high school. How could it possibly be wrong for her to fall for someone on her basketball team.. and only 3 years younger. That may seem like a lot in high school, but in the real world, 3 years is nothing.
But it’s also the fact that the other family and the school were willing to place the ‘blame’ entirely on Kate’s shoulders, as if she ‘forced’ the other girl into the relationship. But as well, the school hasn’t done anything to stop the homophobic slurs written about Kate in the school lavatories (that her younger sister has had to see).
It still shocks me, in this day and age, how some people can still be so close minded about something like sexuality. We all know (most) kids experiment at some point in their adolescence, be in high school or perhaps as late as college, because it’s a natural thing to question who you are and try to figure it out for yourself.
Admittedly dating and experimenting are different things, but I’ve know people who’ve ‘experimented’ with their sexuality by dating people of different genders to see which felt right. And that’s ok, because in the end that’s what life should be about, finding out what works for you.
There was no harm in these two girls dating each other. They weren’t hurting anyone, nor were they hurting each other.
The excellent human rights website Change.org has started a petition to the Indian River County State Attorney’s Office to stop the persecution of Kaitlyn for being in a consensual same-sex relationship (the other girl has openly stated this, despite her parent’s position).
If you agree she shouldn’t be prosecuted for loving another girl, please click through the link to sign the petition.