In March, the Idaho’s Attorney General’s Office charged John R.K Howard with “forcible sexual penetration by use of a foreign object” to a black disabled student. The attorney general amended the charge to “felony injury to a child.” Howard took a plea avoiding accountability for his actions.
The deputy attorney general stated in court that the act itself was “not a sex crime.” Howard engaged in a pattern of power and control. The deputy attorney general stated that it “was not a racially motivated crime” (there was a pattern of racial slurs), it was a “vulnerable victim-motivated crime.” He went on to say “that probably would have happened to anyone that was in the same circumstances and same mental state as the victim here.” This unbelievable statement normalizes violence against people with disabilities.
We seek accountability from Idaho’s attorney general. We seek accountability from the Dietrich School District to undo a culture of hate and violence. We look to Idaho’s communities at large to change our culture of hate and ugliness.
Heather Thiry, McCall