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He Rapes Her and She's Supposed to Cheer for Him?

By October 25, 2010

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Here's a tale to turn your stomach. H.S. was a teen in Silsbee, Texas,  when she was raped by fellow student and football star Rakheem Bolton. After pleading guilty to a lesser charge to avoid jail time, he returned to play for Silsbee High School and she was treated like a pariah.

As Change.org tells it:

Bolton was put on the varsity basketball team, which meant that in her role as cheerleader, H.S. would have to cheer for a team that included her rapist. She continued to do so, but refused to cheer for him by name during his individual free throws.

In a display of extreme disrespect for a rape survivor and disregard for her well-being, school officials insisted that H.S. had to scream "Rakheem" with the rest of the cheerleaders, or she'd be kicked off the squad. School officials also pushed H.S. "to keep a low profile, such as avoiding the school cafeteria and not taking part in homecoming activities." She refused these instructions and lost her spot as a cheerleader.

Sounds like Silsbee High School is ground zero for insensitivity towards rape victims. Message to male athletes: It's okay to rape a girl if you can score. Message to cheerleaders: You're interchangeable and nobody cares if you're a victim of sexual assault. Just shut up, cheer, and make our school look good.

We can't let these messages be sent, especially by school officials. Change.org has a petition in support of H.S. Sign it and let them know that this sort of behavior is unacceptable in Silsbee and everywhere else.

My colleague Charlie Zegers has addtional info and links in his story: "Cheerleader Refuses to Cheer Her Rapist, Kicked Off Team."


October 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm
(1) jo says:

Feel free to call the school and tell them how shameful they are personally as well.
the school motto is ” student’s come first”


October 25, 2010 at 3:00 pm
(2) Sallie says:

Whoever let that rapist back on the team should be fired. Texas is another world when it comes to sports. Sports coaches are always telling people that being on a team teaches you so much. Well, it sure taught that poor young woman something. You don’t matter. Shame on those “adults”!

October 25, 2010 at 9:02 pm
(3) Patricia says:

This kind of thing is not as uncommon as we’d like to believe. I am a 57 year old woman and I have known that I do not matter for most of my life. John Lennon was right when he said “Woman is the N***** of the world”. It is deeply embedded in our culture and times are still bad for us. There has not really been that much change. I am just glad that someone put this up here for all to see. Shame on that school and who the hell would want to cheer for any of them. She did the right thing by leaving those creeps behind.

October 26, 2010 at 1:44 pm
(4) Buster 36 says:

Why call the school, give us the numbers for the Board of Education and each of the school board members names and phone numbers!
This is nowhere near over! Why on earth would they ever let a person ever on any kind of team who does something like this? The principal are evry stupid heartless oafs and should immediately be fired. I also can’t believe the cheerleader’s parents would even want her to attend this school!

October 26, 2010 at 7:08 pm
(5) anonymous says:

The current Cheer Sponsor was not the sponsor at the time. The current Prinicipal was not at SHS at the time. However; these people are now being threatened and harrassed because of something that happened a couple of yrs ago. I certainly don’t condon rape & I don’t know what happened that night but I do know irresponsible journalism when I see it. This is a legal matter that has been handled in the legal system. Do not call the school. These people had nothing to do with what happened back then.

October 26, 2010 at 8:35 pm
(6) kelsea says:

You people have no clue what went on or what really happened. You hear media blow out!~ This girl was at a party lying to her parents just to attend it All night long. I believe BOTH sides are at blame. She callled the player to theparty after making out with halp the boys at the party. She was also protected by the same school they say she wasnt. They took her to and from the places she needed to go she had more security than any kid in that school. If our school district is SOOO bad why did her parents choose to LEAVE her in the school district and the next year her and her younger sister both attended. That year being the YEAR the cheerleader was a senior was named a CAPTAIN of the CHEER SQUAD and her younger sister was on th JV squad. Doesnt sound like they was to hurt for thier child to attend school to me. And didnt sound like they was tooo upset thier child wa a captain until she was officially REMOVED for FAILING a class…….See media dont know what people in this town knows. This also isnt hear say this was us watching all this play out as a classmate. Do I believe people are right to accuse people of something they think happened yes, should they be punished thats also a yes, but this didnt happen on school ground was NOT a school pregame party etc. This was a drunking brawl that went on every weekend with the samepeople attending. So maybe we should leave the school district out of it..And the people who run it. They did what they did to protect ALL student rights. When the case went down and they was charged with this then the school did remove them. So get the story straight before rumors fly.

October 26, 2010 at 8:43 pm
(7) Veronica says:

What could be more important than the rights, dignity, and safety of a high school girl? Basketball? Football? Apparently, sports are more important at this school than some teenage girl.

October 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm
(8) anonymous says:

The facts are also incorrect in your “story”;
You write as if this happened yesterday, when in fact it was about 2 years ago. This case has already been handled in the legal system for any criminal charges filed. I’m not certain but I believe the civil suit has been thrown out 2 or 3 times.
You also write as if the boy had pleaded guilty or been convicted at the time of the basketball game. Not true.
In this country you are innocent until proven guilty.
I too know most of the people involved, including the cheerleader and her parents. This is a small town and everyone in it has been affected by this. I had hoped we could finally find some peace and the girl involved could find some peace. Unfortunately, Her Father will not let it go, even if it means sacrificing His own Daughters well being.
I have heard recently that He is considering running for public office, which would leave me to believe thats why this story has re-surfaced.
What a one-sided story you have written. I’m not referring to the guilt or innocence of anyone. I’m referring to the fact that you made accusations and blamed people with obtaining all the facts. The school district provided security for this girl, including security at Homecoming festivities. The rules were ignored for Her and she was allowed to try out for cheerleader the following year. She was also named captain of the squad. She cheered until she was removed from the squad for “no pass-no play”. She has since graduated as have the boys involved.
Please quit dragging this girl through the dirt to further Her Dads political agenda.

October 28, 2010 at 2:20 pm
(9) anonymous says:

Please see article on front page of SILSBEE BEE Oct 27th 2010.

October 28, 2010 at 2:22 pm
(10) anonymouse says:

Pls. see article on front page of SILSBEE BEE Oct 27 2010.

October 28, 2010 at 9:03 pm
(11) kelsea says:

I did it say about what every other article says. Half truths. I will stand my ground and ask again. If the cheer squad and school was sooo horrible to the girl the year she was raped, then WHY DID HER PARENTS ALLOW HER ADN HER SISTER TO TRY OUT FOR CHEERLEADING AGAIN THE NEXT YEAR AND THE RAPE VICTUM who was wronged become a CAPTAIN for something that exploited her issues???? Thats why I dont read the media. We read what people from out of state say because they hear what people want them to hear. What they want people to believe. Not the whole truth. Seems to me if everything the media would have written was true then why does everyone in this small town wish the people invilvede would just STOP already… We all thought it was over when he plead to assault and they was done. You cant be pissed at a school where this had NOTHING to do with the rape issue. And as far as a cheerleader. If every girl we knew didnt cheer for atleast one boy a on team they didnt like……….It would be a real quite sideline for cheerleaders. Sorry I can sypathize but this town is sooo TIRED of this issue already……

November 1, 2010 at 9:38 pm
(12) Muhummed says:

@kelsea, while I appreciate you mentioning some of the details of the story that wasn’t mentioned in the article, you are confusing the issue of rape and blame. The victim of the rape is not to blame, regardless of how the girl behaved prior to the rape. These two points are irrelevant:

- “This girl was at a party lying to her parents just to attend it All night long.”
- “She callled the player to theparty after making out with halp the boys at the party.”

As for staying in school, I’d imagine that was a decision made by her parents and I hope it was made in consultation with the victim after weighing the costs and benefits of such a move.

November 12, 2010 at 12:38 am
(13) Mandi says:

No,means no, means no, means no
If a girl says no even once, then it is rape, stop lying to yourselves.

The player shouldn’t even be allowed to play anymore, if you can bench players for not showing up to practice and kick them off the team for drinking what then is the punishment for assaulting another student. This school clearly went after her, I can say, as a former cheerleader that never in my four years cheering for three school teams, never were any cheerleaders approached by school officials for their conduct. And we had girls literally storm out of games, so to be approached for simply not cheering an individual player sends the message that they were just looking for a reason to get rid of her. And nowhere, in any cheerleading constitution does it say anything about supporting individual athletes, only schools and teams. I’ve found the cheer that she was supposed to say and I have frankly never been so disgusted in my life to think that they would try and make her say that. It’s the most insensitive cheer they could have possible come up with. And it tends to be pretty hard for someone to walk away from something they’ve invested so much time and money in when it wasn’t even their fault.

I almost felt the need to give my opinion on small towns but I’ve managed to restrain myself.

January 14, 2011 at 3:53 am
(14) kelsea says:

AGAIN!! The media made this out like it happened this school year. This was two years ago. Maybe the people of Silsbee would take it more serious if the girl who was raped took it a little more serious. Every TV event we have seen her in she is smilng. She made a comment on one we dont want money or to sue we just want an APOLOGY??? Hello when does anyone sue now days and spend THOUSANDS of dollars to try a case just for an APOLOGY. Seems like a waste of time and energy. And your right NO is No but when you lie with dogs u will get fleas. Girls these days have no self respect for themselves.

April 23, 2011 at 10:22 am
(15) citizen says:

So if she is fighting to have some justice then she should have just avoided school? If she dropped out and her sisters attended a different school then it just shows the rapist won. It isn’t a bad thing that she was seen smiling on television either, it shows strength. So yes this case is old and the new school officials shouldn’t be held responsible, but you shouldn’t be so quick to commit victim blaming.

May 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm
(16) John Doe says:

You people crack me up with this meme that NO FEMALE is every responsible for her actions. If she and the guy are completely drunk and have sex, it’s his fault alone. If she changes her mind in the middle, it’s his fault alone. No wonder many of you women are in fact….ALONE

May 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm
(17) AT says:

What was the lesser crime he was convicted of? Being charged with rape and being convicted of rape are two different things. Can’t call someone a rapist unless they have been convicted of it. What happened to innocent before proven guilty (in court, not by public opinion) or what SHE alleges?

September 11, 2011 at 9:36 pm
(18) scott says:

She’s a cheerleader, so YES!! Geash, of course she should cheer! That is so stupid she didn’t and she has no business being on the squad.

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