Helping through difficult times

Gabby Lerner, Director of Business

Teenagers go through a lot in this day and age. From keeping up with friends through several forms of social media, going to school, and often having work, a lot of problems can unfold. One problem that has only now been talked about and addressed is sexual assault and abuse.  

These terms have different definitions but are both issues that some teens have in their life. Sexual assault is when an adult is inappropriately mistreating a child or minor. Sexual abuse is unwanted forms of touching and other sexual conducts.  

In high school, hundreds of sexual abuse and assault cases go unreported each year. However, for those who have unfortunately experienced this, there is an abundance of resources at Roswell High School that can be utilized for their specific situation. In addition, there are many staff members in the building who are certified and want to help in any way possible.  

School social worker Ms. Rogers and the counseling staff, like counselor Ms. Butler, are members that want to help guide students if they find themselves dealing with this situation.  

Ms. Rogers explained the process that she and other staff members take if someone comes to them with a problem or concern. She explained that they would have to follow procedures in law, which says that faculty members are mandatory reporters. 

Ms. Rogers also explained, “If a student comes in and talks to their counselor or social worker, we will get a little bit of information, but for the most part, hand it off to professionals that are trained to be able to get more information”. 

She elaborated by saying, “When someone’s been traumatized it’s sometimes hard to remember a lot of the details or they may be emotionally scarred from the event so we don’t want the student to have to retell the story too many times because the details change, which could jeopardize the investigation”. She then explained that her and other faculty members want to provide a safe place for all students dealing with these issues.  

There are also a variety of forms of resources available for students who are going through these events. Ms. Butler explained that the counseling staff can prescribe therapy with therapists in the building through Chris 180, or an outside referral to make sure the child’s emotional needs are met. “It’s a matter of figuring out what the problem is and finding the proper form of support and care for the student” Ms. Butler concluded.  

Despite the resources and help available, Ms. Rogers suspects that there are probably numerous cases or instances of sexual assault and abuse that go unreported at every high school. “Based on our numbers it’s not a very common thing, but again, I would be concerned when we got a student body of over 2200 students, there’s probably students who have experienced things or have gone through difficult situations such as an assault, and they may not have shared this information with us”.  

Ms. Rogers and Ms. Butler also explained that they rely on victims’ friends, as well, to learn important information.  

Ms. Rogers then finished by saying how, “It can be life changing to get that information to an adult so we can help that child get through this difficult time in their life”.  

If you or a friend has been sexually abused, there are people who want to help and resources available to help your situation: