Suffolk launches pilot program to assist student victims of sexual harassment, assault

Barbara Maier, a former Babylon student, has spoken out about alleged sexual assaults she experienced while attending the school.

News 12 Staff

May 5, 2022, 11:26 AM

Updated 714 days ago

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A Suffolk school has made headlines for allegations of sexual misconduct. Now, a new program is trying to write a better path forward.
Parents and students at Babylon Junior-Senior High School Thursday are having a tough time talking about the sensitive and difficult topic. However, school officials say it is important to have a pilot program that will help Babylon High School students, teachers and administrators deal with sexual harassment and assault.
Students at Babylon High School have been getting flyers and other pieces of educational material through student ambassadors about being put in place in the wake of widespread reports of sexual misconduct.
Babylon student Ava Roesler is one of the student ambassadors volunteering in the pilot program
"I feel like we have to be the change we want to be to fix everything that is happening," Roesler says.
As News 12 has reported, Babylon High School teacher Timothy Harrison was arraigned in March on charges that he allegedly raped a 15-year-old student twice in 2013, according to officials.
Barbara Maier, a former Babylon student, has spoken out about alleged sexual assaults she experienced while attending the school.
She says there was a rape culture with some of the teachers that her older sister warned her of before she got to the school.
"She said, 'Stay away from this teacher and this teacher and don't wear a skirt,'" Maier says
Laura Ahearn, who heads up the Crime Victims Center, will be working with the Babylon School District to implement the pilot program.
The program will provide the school with a dedicated crime victims advocate.
Sexual harassment prevention programs will also be held for both school district officials and students.
Ahearn says over 20 alleged victims from the Babylon School District have come to her office with complaints against 10 teachers.
She also is applauding all of the students who are leading the way for the program.
"They are leaders. These are young ladies who are seventh through 12th grade who are stepping up and saying, 'We want you to know about the reporting process,'" Ahearn says.
The goal is to spread this program across Long Island and the state.


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