- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A Maine student was suspended for bullying after she shared a note claiming there was a rapist in her school.

Aela Mansmann — a 15-year-old sophomore at Cape Elizabeth High School in Portland, Maine — was suspended by her school after she posted a note in one of the bathrooms that said: “There’s a rapist in our school and you know who it is.”

“I was disappointed in the fact that the school decided to punish me rather than punishing the multiple perpetrators in our school,” she said in an interview with WMTW.

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Despite no one being specifically mentioned in the note, school Principal Jeffrey Shedd said a male student thought he was being targeted and felt threatened. This led to Aela’s suspensions along with two other currently unnamed students who were also suspended for similar notes.

Aela’s claims the note wasn’t calling out a specific student but the environment of the school itself.

“The sticky note was meant to target the culture that we have in our school. There are definitely multiple cases and perpetrators in mind, but there’s not one in particular despite what everyone seems to think,” she said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine — who has taken on Aela’s case — requested a temporary restraining order Sunday against the school district, saying she was raising awareness in her school about sexual assault and is protected under the First Amendment.

“This case is really important to make sure that when people raise those issues, when students raise those issues, that they don’t feel silenced, and they instead feel supported,” said Alison Beyea, ACLU of Maine’s executive director.

Superintendent Donna Wolfrom reportedly declined to comment, citing the matter is currently in court. 

Aela has offered no apologies and plans to still advocate for sexual assault victims.

“I think anyone that has experienced any sort of sexual violence or harassment is especially vulnerable when they are going through their healing process, and to have an ally who is willing to advocate for that, I think is crucial and beneficial,” she said, The Associated Press reported.

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