Guilty of Rape? Write a Book Report, Says School

When you consider appropriate punishments for rape, jail might come to mind, or perhaps castration if you're old-fashioned. But if you ask Occidental College, allegedly, they'll recommend a super-reparative book report.

According to a 250-page federal complaint lodged by 37 students and faculty against the school Thursday, the school harbored a hostile environment for those who had reported being sexually assaulted and mishandled their complaints. When the school found a student guilty, the complaint says, it meted out weak and bizarre punishments, like assigning a five-page book report.

For another student found guilty of rape, his alleged punishment was to apologize to his victim and resign from campus leadership positions. In some cases, students who were deemed guilty of multiple sexual infractions were expelled but allowed to re-enroll once their victims graduated, said Gloria Allred, an attorney for some of the complainants.

By doing so, the group alleges that the college violated Title IX requirements granting freedom from sexual discrimination.

This isn't the first time Occidental has been in hot water for rape. Less than two months ago, the school failed to issue a campus alert about one rape (and several others, if you ask the students who believe that Occidental has a nasty habit of covering up rapes).

"I've seen some of the outputs of these so-called 'educational sanctions' like book reports and apology letters and they're abysmal," said Danielle Dirks, a sociology professor who co-filed the complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, to the Huffington Post. "The fact that Occidental has invited rapists back to campus and even told survivors not to worry because 'he's reformed now' after these types of inadequate sanctions is an abomination."

[Photo via AP]