Kavanaugh Hearing: Ignatius Student Opinions

Lily Good, Sophomore

Brett Kavanaugh is Yale Law graduate and the newest Justice on the Supreme Court. As the son of two lawyers, born and raised in suburban Maryland, Kavanaugh attended the all-boys Catholic high school Georgetown Prep and was regarded highly in both his family and social life in addition to his great success as a lawyer. However on September 14th, Senate Democrats received an anonymous allegation from a woman who claimed that while in high school he “held her down, and… attempted to force himself on her.” Two days after the accusation was made, California Psychology professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, came forward confirming her allegation. This was reinforced by Julie Swetnick, a woman who said she knew Kavanaugh during high school and she had seen him sexually harass women. Kavanaugh denied all allegations, and both him and Dr. Blasey Ford were asked to testify in court, in addition to being subjected to a thorough FBI investigation of the incident. Despite national debates about sexual assault that emerged throughout the case, Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed and will be admitted into the Supreme Court. The Kavanaugh case quickly became integrated into both classroom and lunch table discussions at Ignatius, and I decided to interview students from every grade to see into the perspective of some of our own students and see what positions and viewpoints some of our peers held. I asked students from every grade the following three questions, and received a variety of responses:
1. How do you feel about the outcome of the Kavanaugh hearing?
2. What struck you about it/What did you take away from it?
3. How is sexual assault prevalent among students and what precautions, if any, should be taken?

Freshman Boy:
1. I feel that this goes to show how far social connections can get you, with a liar being voted into our Supreme Court. The sexual assault claims are not the part that I find most frustrating, however. It’s that fact that Kavanaugh lied about the incident happening, instead of him accepting it and apologizing. If he would have said something as simple as, “I’m sorry, I know I messed up. I did stupid things a kid, but I’ve changed,” or anything along those lines, the situation would have been much better. Regardless, the outcome of this case, in my opinion, is very wrong and biased.
2. One thing that struck me the most was the fact that, past the lies and allegations of sexual assault, people’s visions were still too clouded by biases to make the right decision. Like I said earlier, it really goes to show you that connections are very important in the society we live in. We claim that our citizens are equal, but if it were, we wouldn’t be faced with these allegations and problems in society.
3. Students can be taken advantage of and silenced at this age and I feel that it is very important to take big precautions against sexual assault and rape. If something happens to you or a friend, you need to say something right away. Yes, it may be hard at first because it’s very traumatic, but, if you keep it to yourself you have situations like this that happen. Some people believe you, some don’t, and in the end it may not always work out for you. If anything, happens to you or someone you know, tell someone, a parent, a teacher, a coach, anyone.
Sophomore Girl:
1. I feel happy and gracious at the outcome of the Kavanaugh trial, because I believe that all people make mistakes and I do not think that it would be fair to ruin a person’s career on something that did not even have tangible evidence.
2. The thing that struck me was first the courage Dr. Blasey Ford has and how strong she was. It also struck me that many used this one case as the scapegoat for all sexual assault survivors, while using Kavanagh as the main villain.
3. Sexual assault is prevalent because many people have been subjected to it, both through experience or watching it in the news, so we must be aware of sexual assault and teach survivors how to speak up about these situations.
Junior Girl:
1. I personally am okay with the outcome of the Kavanaugh hearing . It was a very difficult situation because there was no proof / concrete evidence that could prove one person or the others story . I think that everyone has the right to take whoever’s side that they want to but no one can know for sure the actually story – one can only believe one side or the other . It was really hard for me to fully appreciate the case and the issue being brought up because of the fact that it was so partisan – the democrats did not want a conservative for the position. Whether or not her story was true , the democrats were using it to their advantage , which personally took away from the real issue at hand , being the sexual assault accusation.
2. What struck me the most was the conversations that emerged as a result of the trial. I think that sexual assault is still a really hard topic to be talked about especially in a high school setting . I think that although there are many instances of sexual assault, people (girls more frequently in this position) do not feel comfortable coming out and telling someone so that they can get help. I think that by continuing to keep sexual assault an open discussion with the student body and by informing students of ways to help avoid possibly dangerous situations and making sure that they know that there are people there for them to talk to if something every does happen.
3. Some precautions that can be taken to help avoid situations leading to sexual assault are to not drink or do drugs because they leave you in a vulnerable position. Don’t go into rooms alone with people that are away from the bigger crowd especially with people who you are not close with. Also, remember that if you are in this situation, there is always someone you can talk to about what is going on, whether it be a parent, teacher, or a friend.
Senior Boy:
1. I think the outcome was not unexpected. It was clear from the beginning that Kavanaugh would still have a chance to be confirmed and I feel that if the accusations came earlier it would be an entirely different story.
2. What struck me was that both of these people’s lives and reputation would be affected by the lies of one person. It also struck me when I realized that we will never hear one of them confess that they were lying.
3. Sexual assault happens. Don’t take it lightly and people need to remember that they shouldn’t be afraid to seek help.