10-year-old Santiago Nolasco was allegedly stripped by Rock Creek Elementary teacher Claudia Wilson, while both boys and girls in his class looked on.
“I was nervous and embarrassed,” Nolasco said. “Some of the kids were laughing.”
When I was 16, one of my girlfriends and I were heading to the lake one day to meet up with some other friends. We were running late when she got to my house. I had my string bikini on but that was it when I saw my younger brother and his friend walking up the street. I was wearing a g-string thong bottom and my stepdad had already hit the roof when he caught me wearing it one day and was forbidding me to wear it again.Earlier in the month he had already spanked my bare bottom (right in plain view of my younger brother and his 12-year old playmate – a boy I regularly babysat!) My mom didn’t care (about the bikini, that is) but she was away for the weekend. I didn’t want my brother to see me wearing it so I jumped in the car.Ashley, who had pulled off her shorts and top to show me her new bikini, also a thong, quickly threw her stuff in the trunk. I thought she grabbed my clothes too, that were in a bag in the driveway; but she thought I had thrown them in the backseat of her car. By the time I realized it, we decided it was too late to go back for my clothes less my brother see that I was wearing the forbidden bikini and tattle to our stepdad about it.We headed out and she knew I was a little embarrassed about being in a bikini in her convertible, so she took a back highway. I looked back and saw she had one of her t-shirts on the back seat so I reached over to grab it, got it but then lost it and it went flying out of the car. About 30 seconds later, we heard a siren.A state trooper pulled us over; he had seen the t-shirt go flying out of the car and thought oh, these girls must be stripping or something. Of course, then he saw we were wearing just bikinis and my explanation seemed to satisfy him until he asked to see both our IDs and Ashley’s vehicle registration and driver license (which was in her shorts in the trunk).It was embarrassing enough, given we were in thong bikinis. But then I knew I couldn’t produce my ID because my clothes weren’t in the trunk.As we got out of the car he asked if we had been drinking.We were both, ”No way!”But he made us walk up and down alongside the shoulder of the highway just the same. A few cars approached, honking their horns at us. Ashley made it worse by waving back and jiggling her boobs at them.Because he wanted to write us a ticket and I was the one who admitted losing the t-shirt in the wind and didn’t have an ID, he said he’d have to take me to a station and have my parents come with my ID and pick me up.I started to protest and but he said, “Don’t make me handcuff you. Because I will.”Then I started to plead and say he didn’t understand, that my mom was out of town and my stepdad would be furious seeing me like that and that he probably wouldn’t even wait until we got home before spanking me – as he had threatened to do if he caught me wearing this particular bikini.The patrolman sarcastically responded, “Good. I hope he does! The boys could use a little entertainment down at the station today.”He then added that maybe I should have thought of that before leaving the house with so little on, saying I should be ashamed of myself and that if I was his daughter he’d turn me over his knee just like I was dressed.As I blushed he handed Ashley her ID back, but she dropped it. She bent over to pick it up and within a few seconds, brakes were screeching and then BOOM!!!Then, a moment later there was another BOOM!A horn was sounding, stuck and blaring away and all three of us turned to see a three-car pile-up. Two drivers were soon getting out of their cars, one of them pointing at us while the other driver was swearing and cussing back at him.The patrolman then turned back to us and said, “Just go. Get back in your car and go before you get someone killed out here.”We were going, ”Oh, thank you, officer. Thank you so much. Have a nice day. Bye!”We got back in Ashley’s car and headed to the lake. My heart was pounding for about ten minutes before Ashley started laughing and that finally got me laughing. I had more laughs as we shared the story with our friends once we arrived at the lake.Unfortunately for me, when Ashley dropped me off at home at the end of the day my stepdad was able to figure out that I had disobeyed him. (This despite me leaving my bikini with Ashley and wearing only a towel on the way home.) This was compounded by the fact that, after being pressed about, I admitted to lying about what I had worn to the lake. There was no more laughing that night, except from my kid brother who quite happily watched me getting spanked on my bare bottom.
A few months ago, in March 2012, two 15-year old girls were forcibly stripped completely naked by their teachers Preeti Sharma and Reshma Simaiyain front of more than 40 male classmates.
They had been accused of cheating and the teachers claimed there were going to look for notes hidden on their person. When the girls refused to strip voluntarily, they were forcibly stripped completely naked on the spot. Their classmates laughed, hooted and snickered at them as the girls stood there nude. No scraps of paper were found and after being thoroughly humiliated, the girls had to still endure another three hours with their giggling, teasing classmates before being dismissed.
This is by no means an isolated incident. I’m totally appalled at how accepted the humiliation of school girls seems to be throughout India. Child abuse and abuse of authority happens everywhere – and we here in the United States aren’t immune from it. But in most western democracies the populace is outraged by it.
Last year at school in Orissa, a 8th grade girl was stripped naked in front of 25 classmates because her teacher falsely accused her of stealing money. The girl later committed suicide because of the trauma she suffered.
A teacher at a school in Faridabad paraded a school girl around topless in front of all her schoolmates because her parents forgot to pay a fee.
A schoolgirl in Vijayawada was forced to expose her breasts to all her classmates for not speaking English.
A few years ago, a school girl in New Delhi school was stripped naked by her teacher, ordered to stand on her desk totally exposed and her classmates were urged to make fun of her. Why? Because she didn’t complete all her homework.
In first grade twenty years ago, I suffered a number of embarrassing moments. I had peed myself several times in class and as a result my teacher put me in diapers during recess or lunch period. This went on every day for over two weeks and then occasionally after that. On some occasions students, including several boys, returning to the classroom early saw me partially or fully undressed and then diapered. They were not told to leave the room and therefore got a good look at everything. And I do mean everything.
OK. So, it wasn’t the end of the world and I got over it, learning to live with the teasing.
But years later, as an older student, if I had to take off all of my clothes in front of my classmates each occasional time I did poorly on a test, homework paper or in-class assignment, I might as well simply have gone to school completely naked each day every year after that. There would have been no point in trying to maintain any modesty.
That’s how I later felt in high school when nude pics of me and two close girlfriends were circulated. Those two 15-year old girls probably feel that way now. After all, forty boys saw them standing there totally naked and exposed. They feel ashamed. They feel humiliated. They feel mortified every time they are around those who witnessed or even heard of their degrading treatment. They are now “branded” and they can’t make the boys un-see what they’ve seen. But at least here in the U.S. what happened to my friends and I was considered unacceptable.
Unfortunately, those two teenage girls in India probably aren’t going to have a whole lot of community support. I pray that they have the courage to deal with it.
When are Indians as a whole going to demand an end to the humiliating, degrading strippings of school girls? There are hundreds of millions of decent people in India. When are they going to use their collective power and stop the rampant abuse of children and severely punish the abusers?
I originally published this on my blog at the Experience Project, June 17, 2012.
I pray that when those pigs who raped CBS reporter Lara Logan in Tahrir Square in Cairo get their 72 virgins in their pathetic afterlife, they discover to their dismay that each of them has a very, very, VERY sharp knife in her hand with each female virgin taking turns with the 71 others doing her part to make positively sure that those assholes will feel like John Bobbitt every single moment for all eternity.