School officials suspended a 15-year-old girl at Cape Elizabeth High School in Maine for bullying because she put up sticky notes around the school calling out an alleged rapist. Aela Mansmann never identified the student by name, simply writing: "There's a rapist in our school, and you know who it is."
The sophomore says that school officials ignore reports of sexual assault, and was hoping the sticky notes would spark a conversation and force staff members to take their complaints more seriously.
"On a day-to-day level, we don't feel believed," Mansmann told WGME. "We don't feel supported."
She is also upset that she was suspended for bringing light to the situation, while the student accused of rape has not gotten in any trouble.
"It makes me angry that I'm being punished for bullying, and a rapist isn't being punished for raping people," she said. "I felt this was important -- that this was common knowledge."
The school defended its decision to suspend Mansmann, claiming they received a bullying complaint from another student and are required by law to investigate.
Cape Elizabeth Superintendent Donna Wolfrom said that students should have raised their issues with the faculty.
"I think there is a proper way to do it. If they go through the proper channels, I think [reporting it] is perfectly fine. We are willing to listen to our students," Wolfrom told News Center Maine. "[The sticky notes] caused a lot of confusion. We spent a lot of time investigating. It had adverse effects on other students. I think there could have been a better way to do it."
Mansmann is appealing her three-day suspension, and her classmates participated in a walkout in protest of the punishment.