Maine high school suspends three girls for rape-awareness note posted in bathroom, saying it was bullying

Three girls were reportedly suspended from their high school in Maine for posting a note in the bathroom notifying fellow students that they believed one of their classmates was sexually assaulting others.

The Associated Press reported the three girls were suspended by Cape Elizabeth High School, which said the note constituted bullying.

One of the students, 15-year-old sophomore Aela Mansmann, is taking legal action with the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maine.


The Maine chapter of the ACLU filed a motion in federal court Sunday asking for a temporary restraining order against the district.

The high school has agreed to delay Mansmann's suspension until a hearing on Oct. 21.

Mansmann’s message, displayed in the girl’s restroom on a sticky-note, alerted students that “there’s a rapist in our school and you know who it is.”

She and two other students left similar messages and alleged the school district did not take the accusations of sexual assault seriously enough.

The ACLU’s filing states that Mansmann has taken a “public stance as an ally for victims and survivors of sexual violence.”

She told the AP in an interview that she would continue to be a voice for raising awareness about sexual assault.

“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,” Mansmann told the news outlet.

Jeffrey Shedd, the high school’s principal, sent a letter to the community last week saying that a male student who believed the note was directed toward him said he felt unsafe at school after the messages were posted.

Superintendent Donna Wolfrom declined to comment to the AP on Tuesday. The Hill has reached out to the school district for comment on the matter.

None of Mansmann’s or the other students’ notes alleged they were victims of sexual assault. None of the notes mentioned students by name.

The two other students who were suspended have not been publicly identified.

The suspension at the high school just outside Portland led to a walkout of roughly 50 students one day this month, the AP noted.