We’ve been busy at the studio, too busy to post about what we’re doing. Our new line of brass bracelets is going well. We come out with new designs every week and we’re working hard to get them all listed.
This is Tabitha Phegley. Ms. Phegley to her students. Tab to me. She’s smart and kind and incredibly caring. Together we laugh so hard that our sides hurt and tears roll down our cheeks. She’s one of the strongest women I know.
She’s a preschool teacher at Ridge View Elementary in Warrensburg, Mo. Or at least she was until she was placed on administrative leave this past week.
I know I’ve posted about this case fairly often in the past months. I’ve been suspended on facebook for speaking out. I’ve talked about the case on any platform I can again, and yet again, and then again. I do so because I have a large, active friend base and this case is important to me. I don’t feel that being an expensive military asset gives someone permission to use another person’s body without permission. We should hold those people to a higher standard, not give them a free pass to do what they want.
So what do I want from this? I want people to know what really happens in the military justice system when rape allegations are made. I want people to be aware so that we can help change the system. Something is clearly broken and needs fixing. A Pentagon report estimates as many as 26,000 service members (civilian victims were not tallied) were sexually assaulted in 2012, but as few as 3,374 actually followed through and filed complaints. In those, military prosecutors won only 238 convictions. Does that seem right to you?
I’m posting it here because I feel that it’s important for people to know how the military can treat survivors of rape. I want people in my local area to know what happened to one of our preschool teachers and what she’s dealt with post rape (including being put on administrative leave from the school where she taught). She’s move five times. We’d had websites hacked. She’s had her brakes tampered with. She’s been harassed at work.
And while I’m on my soap box, I’d like to share a petition that I support (but did not start). It asks for the immediate removal of the principal that harassed her because as it turns out, this principal has a history of harassment towards teachers, parents, and students. Check out the petition and if you are so inclined to help us with the immediate removal of Principal Ginger Cochran from Ridge View Elementary in Warrensburg MO, we’d appreciate it.
The girls and I are in the middle of Teslacon 4 preparation still. We’ve been preparing for months but it feels like so much is a last minute kind of thing. It’s stressful, but we’ll get through this. I’m really lucky that my husband and our children support my endeavors because I haven’t had to worry about a single meal or cleaning the house. While they’ve been handling that (and occasionally coming to help me at the studio), I’ve been making teacups and bracelets galore. The convention is not giving away teacups this year which means my booth is the only place to nab Teslacon specific teacups and we only sell them at the convention. I also don’t remake teacups from the previous year which means that once they’re gone, they’re gone…
There’s an article on Buzzfeed today that I did an interview with the Monday. The only thing I would like to point out is that I did say *several times* that he had a right to an education because he’s an accused rapist, not a convicted rapist and there is absolutely a difference. You can’t try and punish someone in the court of public opinion. We have a legal system for a reason. If you see an issue with how the legal system worked, you work to change that system to ensure that injustice doesn’t happen again. So even if *I* think that he should be a convicted rapist, the fact is that he is not a convicted rapist and legally has as much right to attend UCM as anyone else on campus.
Oh and it wasn’t the PR department that called. I had the woman who did my interview email me to ask if I still wanted my whole name used, just my first name, or if I’d prefer they not run the article. That’s semantics though. The gist is basically the same
I think conversations like this are important though. It’s only through talking about rape culture, what that word means, and acknowledging current events that we can change rape culture. I always hesitate before I put my name out there and do interviews, but I think an honest and open dialogue is important in order to realize the changes I want to see.
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